Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sad Day for the Land of Smiles

I've made many trips to Thailand, meeting my wife there years ago. We have watched in horror as events unfolded in Bangkok over the last few days. It really hit home today when we found out that crowds were also burning buildings in Isaan, in the rural north east. We have family in Mukdahan, Khon Kean, Salakam and have traveled extensively in the North East. My mother-in-law lives in a small village just outside Mukdahan, along with my sister-in-law and her family.  We were in Thailand for most of February 2010 and were already hearing about trouble on the horizon when we were leaving. Even our cab driver, most of whom come from Isaan, warned us that big trouble was coming in March.

  Mukdahan May 2010

My brother-in-law went into Mukdahan this morning to get supplies. He told us by phone that he was stopped by police at a checkpoint, explaining to them he only wanted to get milk for his baby. My other brother-in-law went into Khon Kean but returned home. He said things were bad and that he heard Red Shirts were planning on burning a local bank.

Thai people are usually so peaceful. I guess you can only keep the poor man down for so long before he strikes back. Hopefully the current conflict will lead to a stronger democracy and peace in the Land of Smiles.

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