Hot! Taxi Driver Demands Compensation from Thai Parliament

A cab driver drove his taxi into the second floor entrance to the Thai parliament, put a knife to his own throat, and demanded the government pay him compensation for the violent political rallies in 2010.

The taxi driver, Pongpichan Tanatirapong, 49, was found by police holding the knife to his throat and demanding to meet with Pol Gen Viroon Phuensaen, a Pheu Thai party-list MP and the chairman of the House of Representatives standing committee on legal justice and human rights.

A police report said as he drove up to the parliament entry his vehicle hit a security guard to who received a minor injury.

Pongpichan said the previous government of abhisit Vejjajiva had paid him compensation for the losses he suffered during the violence, but the current government had given him nothing.

When he was informed that Pol Gen Viroon was not there he threatened to drive his car into the parliamentary building where the upper house had convened to elect a new senate speaker.

Pheu Thai MP Pairoch Issara Seripong received Pongpichan’s complaint on Pol Gen Viroon’s behalf. Deputy House Speaker Chareon Chankomol then intervened and escorted the driver to his chambers to discuss the matter.

The deputy speaker said he would not charge the taxi driver with trespassing, a criminal offense in Thailand.

Police said this was not the first time Pongpichan had “protested.” He had caused similar scenes at the parliament and Government House, and had often protested at other government offices demanding compensation.