Somyot’s daughter talks about her father
Speech presented by the daughter of Somyot, Prakaidao Phurksakasemsuk today in Seoul during the award presentation to his father, Somyot Somyot Prueksakasemsuk
Nov 13 2016,Seoul
I am greatly humbled and honored to be receiving this award on behalf of my father. Somyot Phurksakasemsuk. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the Korea Foundation of Chun Tae-il as well as Korea Health & Medical Workers’ Union for the support for this honor.
My father has worked for labor rights since I was a little girl. He was always a busy father, rarely be at home with his family. But at the same time, he is a very respectable labor rights activist. Three days before I came here, my father told me that he might not be as great as Jeon Tae-il but he is inspired by his story. The death of Jeon Tae-il brought attention to the substandard labor conditions and helped the formation of labor union movement in South Korea. Still, the unfairness regarding working conditions remains and that’s why my father wishes to carry on Jeon tae-il’s will.
Growing up, I learned little by little what my father was doing out there, what change he would like to see in the world and why he kept fighting until he was sent to jail. The answer is just simple. It’s because we are all human. To be human is knowing that you are not alone in the world and that you can always make your life or the others’ life better. That’s the point of life.
I get to know my father through the first pages of newspaper and a lot of pictures. There is one picture of him in the cemetery of Jeon Tae-il. I cannot believe that today I’m standing at the same place he was. But it wasn’t just doing nothing that made this possible; I wouldn’t be here getting this award without all the effort my father put to improve worker’s life conditions.
Finally, as some of you may know about my father’s situation, he has been detained for more than five years only for exercising his legitimate right to freedom of expression. I wouldn’t be here if he isn’t imprisoned. All I want to ask for my father is just some encouragement from you, my fellow Koreans. We would like to get your support to send the letters to him to support his courage and long fight against the suppression of Freedom of Speech in Thailand. Please send the letters to the address following….
Somyot Pruksakasemsuk At Bangkok Remand Prison, Section 1 33 Ngam wong wan road, Ladyao, Jatujak, Bangkok 10900
Again, thank you.