As strange and nasty as politics is nowadays in the USA, especially with another presidential election rearing its ugly head, it’s hard to top some of the utter foolishness and political shenanigans that occur on a regular basis here in Thailand. Take an incident that was reported in the Bangkok Post yesterday, the headline on Page 2 telling us:
Senator kills aide with Uzi in eatery
Naturally, the reader is going to want to know more about such a fascinatingly bizarre incident, so I read the read of the rest of the rather short article. Here are the highlights:
Mae Hong Son Senator Boonsong Kowawisarat accidentally shot and killed his personal secretary with a gun in a restaurant in Phrae province, police said. Sen Boonsong, 55, and his personal assistant Chanakarn Detkard, 46, were travelling to Bangkok in the senator’s car and stopped for dinner at a restaurant in tambon Mae Keng.
While waiting for their meal, Mr Boonsong took out the weapon. He told police the gun accidentally discharged and his secretary was shot in the stomach. Sen Boonsong said he was so shocked by what happened that he was unable to take Chanakarn to hospital himself. The owner of the restaurant had to take her, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries. Police have yet to arrest or charge the senator as he is protected by parliamentary privilege while the House is in session.
I can just picture the scene; the senator is impatiently waiting for his dish of grilled squid to arrive, when he decides to take out his trusty uzi (Question: Did he keep it in a case of some sort or tucked into his trousers?) and make sure it’s functioning properly. Oops … what was that noise?
I think it’s safe to say that this qualifies as a major news story. If something like this had happened back in the US, or any Western country, I dare say if would be front page news. For many days. But here in Thailand it’s relegated to the second page of the newspaper, and in today’s edition, not a single followup article at all. Suspicious by its absence, don’t you think? Instead, we are treated to a crime roundup with articles about six students being arrested for a shooting the previous week; two men charged with killing and robbing a taxi driver; and a Cambodia worker accused of slashing the throat of an infant child. America may be a cesspool of gun-toting thugs and religious lunatics, but we have our share of violent nut-jobs here too. Welcome to paradise!