CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thailand will offer $250,000 in compensation to the family of a Japanese cameraman shot dead during a crackdown on protests in Bangkok two years ago, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Tuesday.
Yingluck told reporters before leaving on an official visit to Japan that her government would send a letter of condolence to the family of Hiroyuki Muramoto, a Reuters cameraman.
“The letter is issued on behalf of the Thai prime minister to Hiroyuki’s family and to inform them of the compensation they are entitled to receive like others,” Yingluck told reporters.
“I will not have enough time to meet with his family due to my busy itinerary,” she said when asked if she would personally see the late journalist’s relatives.
Last month Yingluck’s government approved a 2.0 billion baht ($65 million) budget to compensate for all deaths and injuries sustained during a string of violent rival political protests since 2005.
Yingluck’s government, which took power last year, has said there is clear evidence that soldiers were responsible for the death of Muramoto during the April-May 2010 “Red Shirt” demonstrations.
The Red Shirts are broadly loyal to Thailand’s fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who is Yingluck’s older brother.
More than 90 people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,900 were wounded during the 2010 Red Shirt rallies, which ended in a bloody military crackdown under the previous premier, Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Yingluck is scheduled to visit Japan from late Tuesday until Sunday in an attempt to win back the confidence of Japanese manufacturers hit by the kingdom’s worst floods in decades last year.
“I’m convinced that the government will be able to regain Japanese investor confidence because I will explain to every group, and I do hope that they will not relocate or withdraw investment from Thailand,” she said.