20 August 2015
In the wake of the bomb attack in Bangkok, people in Thailand have flocked to social media to voice messages of support and sympathy. On Facebook and Twitter, the phrases ‘Pray for Bangkok’ and ‘Pray for Thailand’ were heavily used in the immediate aftermath of the explosion. On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Prayuth addressed the nation in a television broadcast. He called for national unity and promised to find those responsible. The broadcast ended with an image of the Thai flag and the words, ‘Our home, our country, together, stronger’. This prompted a flood of ‘stronger together’ tweets and messages and the hashtag ‘We Love Thailand’ has also been adopted by many social media users inside and outside of Thailand wishing to show their support for the country.
Thai authorities have released a sketch of a man they suspect of being the bomber. The ‘man in the yellow t-shirt’ was identified from CCTV cameras at Erawan Shrine. He was shown to take off a backpack and leave it on a bench inside the shrine area. He is then tracked on another camera leaving the shrine without the backpack. A few minutes later the bomb detonated.
Thai authorities are clearly under pressure with the investigation coming in for intense scrutiny from both inside and outside of Thailand. Since the attack, the Thai military government and police have issued a number of contradictory statements and criticism is beginning to mount for the way the investigation is being handled.