Wednesday 30 April 2014

The Park's Communist history

The park covers what was the site of the Thai Communist Party headquarters, hospital and training grounds during the 20 year war with the government that ended in the early 1980s. In 1973 they were joined by hundreds of students after a student uprising of October that year. The area housed several thousand people. It was only when the government changed tack from warfare to negotiations that the insurgents eventually surrendered and were granted amnesty. Some, maybe many, of them are now employed at the Park. The restaurant manager, Suree, has a photo on the wall of her (bottom right) at 18 with armed comrades in uniform.
The Communist Party army hospital was staffed by doctors and nurses trained in China. There is an exhibit of much of the medical equipment used, drugs produced, and a copy of the 1977 British Pharmacopeia used. The hospital practised modern as well as traditional medicine and was able to perform most surgery, including amputations. The photo is of the clifftop flag where they flew their red flag to celebrate battle victories.
On the western descent from the park there a new, ‘modern’, Buddhist temple being built by locals. The construction is being funded by a Bangkok benefactor, and it is for the former Communist Party fighters.

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