Violence Shakes Elite Myth of Thai Unity
Stories of Thai men getting into fatal fights during a night of drinking are common in the local press. But the killing of Somchai, a 37-year-old man, reveals something more ominous.
The murder justified the fears of some Thai analysts that the country is being torn apart by Thais attacking each other in political rage stemming from the clashes between a right-wing, anti-government protest movement and pro-government sympathisers.
On Nov. 27, Somchai and two male friends had been drinking on the side of a road in a residential part of Samut Prakan, an industrial town south of Bangkok.
It was a little after 10 p.m. Their conversation centred around the siege of Bangkok’s international airport earlier in the week by the right-wing protesters, throttling the country’s important tourism and economic lifelines. The three men were angered by this siege, which is still continuing.
It was then that Boonrak, a 70-year-old man from that neighbourhood, appeared, according to an account in the Thai-language ‘Daily News’ paper. He had overheard what Somchai and his friends were saying and did not agree.
Boonrak, according to the paper, was returning home after having spent the entire day at the Suvarnabhumi international airport, supporting the right-wing protesters. Boonrak tried to convince Somchai and his friends that they were wrong, but he was ignored by the three men.
Boonrak went home, returned with a gun and shot the three men, the paper revealed. Somchai, who was shot in the temple, died en route to the hospital. His two friends were shot in the back but survived.
To be fair, the article mentions the violence against the PAD at Government House, in Chiang Mai, etc. What makes this story frightening is that the PAD thugs are now murdering people just for having a different opinion than their own. What can you expect though from a movement that has proven time and time again that it believes it is above the law on every level.
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