Pornthip Rojanasunand


Pornthip Rojanasunand

Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand M.D. (Thai: พรทิพย์ โรจนสุนันท์, sometimes transliterated as Porntip Rojanasunan, RTGS: Phonthip Rotchanasunan; born: 21 December 1955) is a flamboyant Thai forensic pathologist, author and human rights activist. She has repeatedly publicly stated that she has come across evidence of police abuses during her work.

Pornthip presently is Director of the Forensic Science Institute, Ministry of Justice, in Bangkok and introduced DNA evidence to Thailand.

Before her public criticism, autopsies of victims of alleged police abuse were carried out in the police's own forensic institute; this has since changed.

During the anti-drug campaign by the government of Thaksin Shinawatra in early 2003, more than 1,000 people vanished or were killed; Pornthip has shown that several of these deaths were caused by police.

She has written several books about her work. Easily the most prominent pathologist of Thailand, she gets regular media coverage with her allegations of abuse and her somewhat unorthodox appearance: red and orange hair, eccentric clothing and makeup, platform shoes.

The Thai English-language newspaper "The Nation" chose Pornthip, along with Chuwit Kamolvisit and Chote Wattanachet, as persons of the year for 2003.She was honored by King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the title "Khunying".

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Pornthip took charge of the effort to identify victims of the tsunami in the Phang Nga region. She and her team were widely praised for their hard work and dedication, but on January 13, 2005 Police General Nopadol Somboonsab complained that the police's identification centre in Phuket should have charge of all identification operations. Many commentators and Pornthip herself attributed the late intervention to Nopadol's personal vendetta against her [ [http://www.nationmultimedia.com/search/page.arcview.php?clid=2&id=111036&usrsess= VICTIM IDENTIFICATION: Compromise reached over forensic task] , "The Nation", 16 January 2005] . Nopadol was ultimately successful, and the Phang Nga operation was closed down on February 3, 2005. [ [http://www.nationmultimedia.com/search/page.arcview.php?clid=3&id=111325&usrsess= Unidentified Western bodies to be moved] , "The Nation", 25 January 2005]

The 2005 National Geographic documentary "Crime Scene Bangkok" tells her life story and covers her work in Phang Nga after the tsunami and her battle with the police.

References

* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9903E0DB153CF930A25757C0A9649C8B63 On Death's Trail, a Detective Larger Than Life.] "The New York Times", April 13, 2002
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/16/international/worldspecial4/16thailand.html?ex=1263618000&en=d3c44492eceb0bf0&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&pagewanted=all Thai Doctor Fashions a Life Working Among the Dead] . "The New York Times", January 16, 2005
* [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/01/05/MNGPEALB211.DTL Devoted doctor takes on her toughest challenge] , "San Francisco Chronicle", 5 January 2005
* [http://www.nationmultimedia.com/search/searchdir_new.php Full text search of "The Nation"] , yielding several hundred articles mentioning Pornthip Rojanasunand.


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