The senseless and destructive gang battles of Bangkok have been one of the city's worst afflictions for many decades. Feuds and rivalries among vocational schools have resulted in many pointless deaths, and needlessly ruined thousands of lives of violent young men, their rivals and families. Far too often, the violence involves innocent bystanders. Far too often, authorities have promised tough action against violent youths, only to back away at the last moment.
As with most crimes, showing compassion to criminals and ignoring the root causes of the student violence have made matters worse. While the government must be pushed to deliver long-term solutions by improving the quality of vocational education and providing the students with job security, the student gangsters also must be punished for their crimes.
Last week, a student gang once again attacked a young man. Once again, the attackers were doubly wrong, assaulting a youth who had no connection to the gangs or the schools involved.