Angry mobs not enough to silence Poo
Veteran folk musician Pongsit "Poo" Kampee, below right, says he won't be bowed by mob violence after a group of marauding teens forced his 25th anniversary concert in Bangkok to an early end.
"I vow to play on, to show Thai society is no lawless, barbaric place," the music-for-life star said in an emotional hand-written letter to fans, a day after he was forced to call off his concert outside Impact Stadium at Muang Thong Thani.
Four people including a soundman were injured in the fighting, as a group of teens in the audience started pelting each other with beer bottles and ping-pong bombs.
In remarks widely covered by the media for their political undertones, Poo chastised the fighting teens from the stage, to no effect.
"See the chair being overturned? Having fun?" he asked.
"Our country is failing to develop because of people just like you. Are you technical students? Everything your school teaches you, dogs can do just as well.
"Hear that ping-pong bomb? Kids in the most forlorn places set them off. But you study better than them, don't you?
"A group of kids who are much better at beating people up on the streets is waiting out there. Why not have a go at them, if you're so clever?
"Around here, we have just women and children. You should be ashamed, your behaviour is so unmanly," he said, inviting his audience to drive out the troublemakers.
"Our society is battered and bruised enough. The politicians are ignorant. Why follow their example?" he implored.
Emboldened by Poo's remarks, the audience chanted, "Get out, Get out!" as the police moved in.
The Daily News newspaper said police rounded up 14 youngsters, and took them to Pak Kret police station for questioning.
Poo, who rarely performs in Bangkok, had managed to sing eight songs of his 28-song playlist when he called off the show on police advice.
He said he felt bad, as none of his anniversary concerts in the provinces had met with so much trouble.
"I want to carry on playing to the end, to prove we are not living in some lawless, uncivilised place, in which the law holds no sway," he said in his note to fans, released to the media.
"We need a place where we can still take care of each other, and cleanse ourselves of this barbaric teen element and ultimately show them how to be people again."
Rocker Arak "Pae" Amornsupasiri, who helped introduce Poo's concert, said he was sorry the show had to be abandoned.
"I finished my act before the trouble started, but when people started crowding backstage, I left in a hurry," he said.
Writing on the internet, Poo's fans said the tickets to his concert, at 200 baht, were too cheap.
"Next time, put the price up, and keep out the fighting teens," they said.
Poo's label, Warner Music, says fans can exchange their tickets for a Video CD of his concert. Poo was likely to return to the stage next year.
Relationship violence strikes home for Kala
The frontman of the band Kala is calling for an end to abusive relationships as he grieves the murder of his sister, allegedly at the hands of her jealous teen lover.
Singer Yuttapong "Num" Sangsuwan, inset, surprised fans with a Facebook entry on Monday in which he lamented the killing of a woman, 40, at her condo in Bangkok.
The body of Pataraporn Prueksasri, a native of Songkhla province, was set on fire in her room in Thanommit Park Condominium on Watcharapol Road in Bang Khen district early the day before.
A 19-year-old man, pictured, has been charged with the killing. Police say the couple were lovers.
Num said he had seen the stories of how Pataraporn was strangled in her room and the body set alight as the killer attempted to disguise his misdeed.
"Why so cruel? Every time I hear of a woman being treated like that I feel depressed," he wrote on the band's Facebook page.
"But today I feel sadder than normal, because the person in that news story was my sister! I am not posting to make people worried.
"But I would like to tell everyone that we should love people sensibly. Love is a beautiful thing. If the other side doesn't love you, it doesn't mean you have the right to harm that person.
"If you can't feel pain on behalf of that person, or die on her behalf ... you have no right to hurt that person whom you claim to love _ even so much as a scratch. Please help stop the violence," he wrote.
Police say an opened packet of arsenic, two empty bottles of beer and a bottle of toilet cleansing liquid were found beside the body.
They tracked down her lover, suspect Warawut Phetchai, 19, to a relative's home.
Police at Khan Na Yao police station said Mr Warawut admitted to having argued with Pataraporn after she returned from a social outing. In a fit of jealousy he strangled her to death and then burned her body, they said.
"She had many friends," he told police, admitting he had a temper and jealousy problem. The couple met on Facebook and had been seeing each other for about a year.
After sitting with the body all day, Mr Warawut decided to kill himself by taking a mix of arsenic and instant noodles.
However, his attempt was unsuccessful. Later, he dragged his lover's body to the bathroom and set it alight before fleeing, police said.
Pataraporn was an official at the Land Department's Chatuchak branch.
Police say she had introduced Mr Warawut to the department so he could find work. However, a background check found he had once been treated for drugs.
Num's fans said on Facebook they were sorry about his loss.
The singer said that as a suspect had now been arrested, he would let the justice system take its course and refrain from further comment.
About the author
- Writer: Mae Moo