Monday, December 1, 2008

Disagree with the PAD, Get a Bullet in the Head

Violence Shakes Elite Myth of Thai Unity

Marwaan Macan-Markar


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.


Unknown said...

Well, PAD leaders have publicly said that the majority of Thai who does not agree with them are all uneducated idiots who shouldn't be allowed any say in state matters.

From here to murder stands is just a bottle of lao kaow...

Unknown said...

It would be sensible to distinguish PAD thugs, ie those who are a part of the PAD admin or 'enforcement'. from others who are simply followers. From the description of this attacker, he was a follower, and this neatly underlines the mentality of average Thais, who are unable to control emotions, and unable to tell the difference between what they want to do and what they should do.

Thais are an essentially immature and not very bright people, on a par with the thugs you can see from time to time in Somalia or Iran. They are extremely suggestible and are very vulnerable to propaganda.

Under these circumstances, it is an error to try and understand their behaviour in terms of mature and democratic values. They have much more in common with the (largely black) teenage gangs in New York and London than they do with mature adult psychology.

No point trying to debate with a buffalo. It doesn't achieve anything and it just annoys the buffalo.


Siam English said...

I agree with Rich. It is in the nature of Thai culture to resolve an argument through violence. They don't have the capacity for empathy or even listen to, let alone accept, another point of view.

Just take a look at the TV soap operas, which never deal with politics and I think are an accurate reflection of Thai society, to see (the prevailing view that) domestic situations and family feuds are resolved through violence.

davidb98 said...

a rich agent provocateur from the tone of this item by Rich

but whose side is he on... he is so extreme he could be just egging us on to see what we will swallow....

Unknown said...

@David: Nah, just calling it as I see it. Sorry if it does not agree with the way you see it.

I can however, provide evidence for what I say.


Anonymous said...

Your attention-grabbing headline succeeded to grab me Fonzi. But I have a different take on what actually transpired.

There were 3 Thai drunks and these three were very very drunk. They insulted the old man . . . more likely about his wife, and about his politics. It was probably the insult to the wife that provoked the gun attack . . . but these dumb farangs would love to pin the blame on PAD politics.

What about those M-79 grenade nightly attacks at the government house and airports while the PAD protesters sleep? Certainly these were not drunks shooting because their grenade launchers were deadly accurate.