Thai Days: Ah no! Bombs! Murder!


Hugh Paxton’s Blog made it down town and peace reigned. Apart from a WW II bomb that exploded after an unlicensed scrap merchant purchased it from a group of construction workers who uncovered it while excavating foundations.

An aerial bomb, I must be honest, looks just like a bomb dropped by an airplane. The flights might have fallen off, corrosion set in, but a bomb looks like a bomb. And if you can see a message written on it “Hello Tojo! This one for Changi!” it’s definitely something to look at again very carefully.

SE Asia’s seen lots of bombs, London, Coventry, Europe, too, Russia. China. As soon as flying men and women aspire to becoming airborne they either cross oceans and vanish, fall off barn roofs with dustbin lids strapped to their arms, or make the most of this new skill for adventure or destruction.

This bomb was about a meter long, 30 cm in diameter and about 225 kg.

The construction workers decided that it would be a good idea to strip the metal from their delivery and used a blow torch. It is perhaps conceivable that they did recognize it as a bomb and hoped to extract explosives for use at Red Shirt protests. We’ll never know.

WW II revived its potential for misery and seven people were blitzed, at least ten others shared injuries and the neighbourhood was shaken and badly damaged. The crater is measured at eight metres wide, and three metres deep. The scrap yard looks just like its description. I can’t see a scrap of its yard.

The Thai military have a fairly good bomb squad. Their advice to anybody who finds a bomb is “don’t meddle with it.”

A sound idea.


Hugh still intact in Thailand!

PS And I feel rather shamed by adding this as a PS but under the Bangkok Post header “South”

I read the following.

“Gunmen kill village head”

Read on. It gets accidentally tasteless.

The Bangkok Post reported a Village Headman had been killed in Yala. I guessed the editors were squeezed for space. The two women described as his assistants with him were also killed, one was beheaded but the head was eventually located. It was left with a bunch of leaflets but for security purposes the contents of the leaflets has yet to be disclosed. Of even less importance was a 51 year old female defence volunteer shot off her scooter. The dead did get named in this very, very brief story. But the story was Deep South, Islamic insurgents linked to drugs and human and wildlife trafficking on the Malaysian border. Readers, those Islamics do this sort of thing every day. For most Bangkok residents it is of less concern than getting to work.

The monks, teachers, the Civil defence volunteers, the children, the army conscripts, the poor Moslems trying to run shops, the moderate Imams, fellows with a family who are rubber tappers, and supplement that income with fishing or a veggie patch… they don’t know when some Islamic Mad Max might come past on a scooter (usually followed by another scooter).

The closest I can come to this is Khmer Rouge tactics. Or the filth of the IRA in their foul attempt to bully Britain into submission. Gerry Adams, Hugh Paxton’s Blog has not forgotten you. Or Martin Mac too much Guinness. Doncaster. No apologies. I can see how hatred breeds hatred.

Couple more explosions. Two guys and their motorbike went up before delivering a bomb. They were described by the Deputy national police chief as “ill intentioned elements.”

PPS: A couple of years ago I described the murder of an inconsequential man. He worked at a railway station in the south of Thailand. He was on his platform, with his broom, checking train times and I’ll bet he was waiting for his cup of tea, snack, (maybe even a train!) but duty was there and he postponed these pleasures. Islamists dragged him from his platform and his station and shot him. He merited only a few lines in the media. I remember him. His family does. The world has turned. He’s now nothing.

But the Islamists keep doing it. Thailand’s looking for 100,000 new army conscripts this year. The training is tough (I’ve seen them training) and those monk/teacher/kid buying an ice cream/ killers will reap their martyr whirlwind as soon as Bangkok politics ensures a bit of decision making. And the army goes in.


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