Thursday, 20 May 2010


“All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.” - François Fénelon

The terrible situation in Thailand seems to be escalating and an end isn’t anywhere in sight. Having visited Thailand many times, I am both surprised and saddened by what I see and read in the news. Thai people are some of the most endearing, gentle and gracious I have met. To see the chaotic situation there and the increasing violence that occurs and has turned their daily life into a fiery, bloody nightmare is of great concern.

The latest atrocity is the death of nine people in clashes that happened in a temple designated a “safe zone” within a Thai anti-government rally site that was shut down in a military offensive. These deaths are to be added to the death toll from the hostilities at the Red Shirts encampment which stood at six yesterday.

A police spokesman indicated that the nine deaths resulted after a gun battle that raged inside the temple in early evening, several hours after protest leaders surrendered and told their supporters to disperse. Hard-liners within the movement refused to give up their cause and as hundreds of protesters rushed into what they thought was the safety of the temple, black-clad militants engaged in a gun battle with security forces, resulting in the fatalities.

The scene is tragic, especially if one considers the grim reality in the internecine civil battle where Thai is fighting against Thai. The possibility of a brother against brother confrontation makes the violence even more sickening, as is the case in any civil war. What makes these nine deaths more shocking is the lack of respect to the “safe zone” designation shown by both of the fighting groups of militants and security forces.

The untenable and insufferable situation of the political and social tensions in Thailand can only be imagined. However, one wonders how bad it must really be if a peace-loving, gentle people who for the most part live by the Buddhist precepts suddenly become so overwhelmingly violent and determined to overthrow those who govern them. But even a hardy camel will have its back broken by that final straw that makes its great load lethal.

Where to from here? A full scale civil war? An increasingly bloody confrontation where the country tears itself apart? A government that stops at nothing to remain in power? A king who remains hidden in the background and fails to act decisively in order to put a stop t the bloodshed? An international community that ignores all of this because there is no oil or other natural resources in Thailand worth its imperative intervention to preserve democracy?

internecine |ˌintərˈnesēn| adjective
Destructive to both sides in a conflict: The region's history of savage internecine warfare.
• of or relating to conflict within a group or organisation: The party shrank from the trauma of more internecine strife.
ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (in the sense [deadly, characterised by great slaughter] ): from Latin internecinus, based on inter- ‘among’ + necare ‘to kill.’

1 comment:

  1. It is a very sad situation, Nicholas. I have also visited beautiful Thailand and had a very nice stay made all the better by the gentle and kind people I met. To see now such bloodshed and horrible civil unrest is very upsetting.