Step down, now!

Step down, now! - Bangkok Post, September 4, 2008

[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]

COMMENTARY

Step down, now!

SANITSUDA EKACHAI

If you did not know then, you should know by now. The man who died in a pool of blood during the free-for-all when your supporters attacked the protesters at Makkhawan Bridge was your man.

There was little information about him when you held the press conference to defend your decision to declare a state of emergency.

When reporters asked you about the dead man, you shot back belligerently: "Whose side was he on?"

Your eyes tell all. The heartlessness. The cruelty. When you started dividing even among the dead, we knew we could not let you carry on.

For your information, the dead man was Narongsak Kobthaisong from Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima, a Thaksin supporter. And since you are Mr Thaksin's proxy, he supported you.

Narongsak was a nobody in your eyes. He was just a pawn in a larger ploy to incite violence so the state of emergency could bring in the military to eradicate the protesters.

Say what you like. Deny all you can, that you had nothing to do with your supporters attacking the protesters.

But who will believe it?

The violence may very well be the work of Mr Thaksin's other generals whom you cannot control.

But you still cannot deny responsibility.

One man has died, and the game isn't going according to plan.

The military has refused to carry out your order to crack down on the gathering of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) at Government House.

So what's next?

Allowing Mr Thaksin's men to send their thugs on a killing spree, so you can hold on to power over a country in ruins?

Indeed, couldn't you see the blood ahead when you allowed the protesters from both sides to become confrontational, or when you ordered the military to do the dirty job for you?

Why do you have no qualms in dispensing with other people's lives?

Don't you believe in heaven and hell?

You might think you are in a different league from your pawn, the late Narong-sak. But haven't you, as a Buddhist, ever been taught that we are all equal in birth, ageing, illness and death?

Haven't you been taught that we all die, and we cannot take anything with us after we die but our karma?

That our next life is crucially determined by the last thoughts and feelings when we take our last breath?

Narongsak's life was cut short by violence. What could possibly have been the last thing on his mind when anger and physical pain from the wounds subsided and darkness entered?

Happy, carefree moments in childhood before the harsh reality of poverty and violence in life set in?

The warm embrace of his mother?

Ironically, the nation owes much to him.

Because he was treated just like a pawn by his masters, he died in obscurity. Had he been a PAD supporter, he could have been turned into a martyr for the PAD leaders to whip up more anti-government anger.

Can you imagine what could have happened?

You know the PAD wants to see blood spilled so the military can intervene. Why did you fall into the trap?

Is the anger and greed too blinding?

The whole country is hanging precariously by a thin thread because of your stubbornness.

You might sincerely believe that you are protecting a democratic system, but history will remember you for puttting yourself first before the country.

That is a very expensive price to pay for being a Thaksin lackey.

Is it worth it?

You can turn things around.

If you haven't already taken that step - or have already been forced to do it - do it now.

Forget the PAD. Its leaders have their own karma to answer to.

If you do the right thing, it will not only save the country, it can also save your soul when your time comes.

Step down.

Before it is too late.

Sanitsuda Ekachai is Assistant Editor (Outlook), Bangkok Post.
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