Land of Frowns, Part III

I'm browsing some opinion columns and editorials about the disaster in Bangkok last Saturday. I don't mean to play the same instrument over and over again, but the situation boggles my mind.

Says Atiya Achakulwisut for the Bangkok Post: "Today is the traditional Thai New Year. Deep in our hearts, Thai people may have wished that this divisive chasm of political colours could somehow be dissolved. These clashes of colour have, alas, resulted in a very sombre hue: black."

For The Nation, Sopon Onkgara writes: "It was a bitter night for all Thais on Saturday night...When the clashes started, they became ugly urban warfare bordering on full-blown rebellion."

Twenty-one people have died. Hundreds more were injured. People's livelihoods are at stake. And now there are suspicions a third - or fourth, or fifth - party was involved, neither Red Shirt or military, that sparked the violence. Who were they and what could they possibly want? When will the insanity end? How did the situation sink so low? And where's the solution?

"A bitter night for all Thais." Even in Chicago, I feel this. I feel for my friends and family, some of whom live within a few miles of the battle zones. A part of me wants to drop everything, take the first plane to Bangkok, and do something - donate blood or bring food to the injured in hospitals.

Thai people need to learn to resolve political issues without resorting to violence. Unifying leaders are out there - we just have to seek them out.

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