The dreadful and apparently escalating violence surrounding the political rallies was already bad enough. In recent days there have been a series of terrible examples where the dead and injured have been used as some sort of political symbol. The deep national divide has put many people in a lamentable state. Some are referring to the victims of the violence in political and propaganda terms. There is no place in our society for this. Friends do not allow friends to exploit terrible events for cheap political points.
A shocking example of this, but with a semi-happy ending, occurred on Sunday in Nakhon Ratchasima. A speaker trying to enthuse the meeting of red-shirt members and sympathisers heard news of the killings in Trat province. He applauded the violence when an anti-government protest was attacked by gunmen. He said the death and injuries were "appropriate punishment for loving Suthep Thaugsuban", leader of the protests against the government.
Within minutes, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship chairwoman Tida Tawornseth grabbed the microphone to apologise. She and subsequent speakers said, correctly, that there can never be joy in such deaths. Ms Tida stressed that resistance must take the form of logic, speeches and compromise. Mr Suthep, for his part, promised to keep his People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) peaceful as well.