We have dubbed them the "Ramadan Demands", which quickly burst into "Ramadan Row". The Islamic fasting month is two weeks away, but the BRN's 7 + 4 demands have already stoked frustration and impatience from the Thai authorities - "I stand firm the conditions are unacceptable to us," said outgoing Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat - and the word "Ramadan" has in the past week become associated with a range of confused notions, from the continuation of strife to the elusive hope for peace.
Patience, please. Lots of patience. I know it's easier saying that from a safe minaret in Bangkok, but patience is one of the spirits of Ramadan, where the day is long and the night is longer, where fasting during the day and praying during the night unburdens the soul and unclouds the hearts, and where hopefully the practice will detox the sullied conscience of everyone involved in the sad conflict down there. I know it's easier saying that here, where senseless killings are not daily occurrences or where the emergency law does not intimidate innocent civilians and strip them of freedom. But patience is a precursor for peace and a talisman against evil.
"But if ye persevere