Thai Days: Woman on fire

by

Hugh Paxton’s Blog, like most of the country saw a front page Bangkok Post image of a middle aged woman burning like a bonfire in front of a government office. She had problems with loans and repayments and arrived with her complaints and her anxious nature, armed with a knife and fully furnished with a container of kerosene and a lighter.

The photo is rather appalling. There’s a woman on fire, sheets of flame rising above her head.

This protest has resulted in an angry debate. While this woman was clearly ablaze there were some gormless office workers staring at the event. They have inspired wide spread hatred for their inactivity. But, in their defence, they weren’t expecting this sort of thing. And they probably were frightened or simply lost.

Chang, as usual, had strong opinions. “She’s stupid!”

“And they are stupid! Look at them! Stupid! They should help! They must help!”

Annabel had her own proposal. “Throw her into the canal! I would throw her into a klong!”

Personally I’d go for a fire extinguisher.

The bottom line according to Hugh Paxton is that suddenly being confronted with a woman on fire is a strange, unanticipated event but if a disturbed woman arrives with kerosene and a lighter, I’d suggest taking her lighter away and punching her with severity and rendering her incapable. Then confiscate anything inflammable.

I think the real villains of this ghastly event are the photographers. One team set up a tripod. The photo in the Post clearly shows some sociopath with camera and tripod busy with his coup while the woman candles away.

There is no record that the Bangkok Post photographer helped either.

The Junta Prime Minister has ordered everybody to help this chargrilled and doomed protester. But that’s fascists for you. Basically a mixed bag. Sometimes hard, sometimes kind. Intolerant yet moral.

Loan sharks, charging 20 percent interest a day to those desperate or stupid enough to require or seek their services will be in for a difficult time. The army is after them.

It is a shame that a woman has to set herself on fire to raise the issue.

Strange, cruel and sad world upon occasion.

Hugh

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