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Killer chooses grilled chicken and sticky rice for last meal

THE FIRST man to be executed in Thailand in nine years was calm during the last few moments of his life.
Identified only as Thirasak by authorities, who requested that his surname be withheld, the 26-year-old remained expressionless as he walked to a room for the fatal injection on Monday. “We let him say farewell to his family that day,” Department of Corrections director-general Naras Savestanan said yesterday. He said Thirasak also chose his final meal – grilled chicken and sticky rice – and after finishing it, was taken directly to the execution room.
Thirasak was executed by lethal injection six years after he fatally stabbed and robbed Danudej Sukmak, who was a 17-year-old schoolboy in Trang at the time.The victim’s parents have never recovered from the pain of losing their son. At the time of the crime, Thirasak was 19 years old. The execution broke the hearts of Thirasak’s family members. “He made one last call to Mum just before he entered the execution room – but she didn’t answer the phone soon enough,” one of Thirasak’s sisters said. She said Thirasak had, however, managed to talk on the phone to his first wife. They had two children together. “When Mum answered the phone again on Monday, she was told to pick up his body. Mum hasn’t stopped crying,” the sister said. Thirasak leaves behind his two wives, three children, his mother and sisters. His burial took place yesterday, immediately after his body was transported from Bang Kwang Prison in Nonthaburi to his hometown of Trang. “I had never thought he would have been executed. Convicts of graver crimes are still alive,” Thirasak’s younger sister said yesterday. His elder sister said she would have been able to accept his execution had other inmates on death row also been put to death. “At the very least, prison officials should have allowed him to meet his family members one last time,” she said. The sisters said they had kept in touch with Thirasak throughout his imprisonment. “When he was locked up at Trang prison, we visited him often,” one of the sisters said. “But after he moved to Bang Kwang Prison in Nonthaburi, we could not make the visit due to travel expenses. We exchanged letters instead.” A recent letter from Thirasak mentioned his love and care for his family and also told his siblings to take good care of their mother. “Living behind bars, my caring concerns cannot actually reach her,” he said in the letter. Thirasak had also intended to study while behind bars, according to his family. RTS – EP

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