Funeral Rites for Apiwan Wiriyachai
14 images Created 12 Oct 2014
Apiwan Wiriyachai was a Thai politician mostly in the Pheu Thai Party, which was aligned with exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and a member of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (Red Shirts). He was the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (Thailand's lower house) in the Parliament before the May 2014 coup that deposed the elected government. Apiwan was charged with Lese Majeste after the coup and fled Thailand rather than face prosecution. He died in exile in the Philippines on October 6. The military government said his body could be brought back to Thailand for cremation but insisted that the funeral should be religious only with no discussion of politics. The funeral, which is expected to take about a week, started Sunday, Oct. 12. Tens of thousands of Apiwan's supporters and Red Shirts stood in line for hours to pay respects to Apiwan and bathe his hand in scented water. The Red Shirts' political leaders attended the funeral and were greeted as rock stars, but they followed the military instructions. They paid their respects to Apiwan, some posed for photos but then they left without making public comment.