A known political activist in Thailand was wounded on Wednesday, January 22, after unidentified gunmen riding a pickup truck fired on him. This occurred only a day after the national government put the country in a state of emergency following the violent protests in Bangkok.
‘Red shirt’ leader
Kwanchai Praipana is one of the local leaders of Thailand’s pro-government “red shirt” movement. He was shot outside his home in northeastern Thailand, according to Col. Kovit Charionwattanasak.
The wounds are non-fatal, said the police officer.
Police suspect that there is some political motivation behind the attack, although they are not discounting the activist’s “personal conflicts.”
The “red shirt” movement supports Yingluck’s government.
Fanning the tension
Many suspect that the attack is to heighten the tensions in Thailand’s political unrest. The protests in Bangkok against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of the ousted leader Thaksin, were done with explosives that killed one and wounded many others.
Since the start of the protests, nine have lost their lives and over 400 were injured, according to figures from the authorities.
The protesters want the Prime Minister to step down as they believe she is under the direct influence of her brother Thaksin, who was ousted via military coup in 2006 and sent to exile.