Letter from Prison: Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanaku

Panusaya is listed on the BBC’s 100 Women, announced on 23 November 2020.

In 2021, she finds herself in prison, bail denied, and without a guilty verdict. Among the charges against her are Section 112, the lese majeste law, and Article 116, sedition.

The 22-year-old student and pro-democracy activist has no access to the outside world or social media. So she asked her sister to post a message for her on her Facebook Page.

It is a message about other jailed pro-democracy activists. Below is a translation of an excerpt where she talked about Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak.



With love to the butterfly

I miss Penguin. I miss our drives together when Penguin would talk incessantly about the history of different countries. I listened till I’m bored. But he would never stop talking.

Penguin told me, no matter the history of any country, including Thai history, he loves Lanna’s history the most. He even wants to get a master’s degree in it.

I’m sorry that I did not pay enough attention. If the day comes when we’re released, I will listen attentively to your stories.

I miss our fights. Every time we fought, I always won. Then you beg for my forgiveness.

I miss it when you cough. You were so worried that I would take away your cigarette and make you stop smoking.

I miss it when you beg for me to buy you food.

Before we came to prison, we promised that you would take me to visit your hometown in Lampang during the new year.

If we can fulfill this promise, I will also promise to listen attentively to your big talks about Lanna’s history…

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