Brief News

Former Prime Minister Samak has died of liver cancer. He wasn’t a very nice person – an arrogant thug. In fact, he was totally loathsome – not only because he taught Thai people how to cook ham in Coca Cola on his TV cookery show, but also because he was a leader of the mob that tortured and murdered hundreds of university students on 6 October 1976 as they protested for democracy. Still, de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.

Former Thai Prime Minister Samak

The following report outlines (brilliantly, in my opinion) some of the horrors of that day: http://web.archive.org/web/20061210024133/http://www.hawaii.edu/cseas/pubs/explore/v1n1-art6.html (The link is to The Wayback Machine because the original article appears no longer to be online.)

According to The Bangkok Post “a royally sponsored bathing rite for him will be held at the Benchama Bophit Temple”.

Internet censorship strikes again, which is why I don’t know that The Times has refused to provide the Thai government with a copy of the recording of an interview with another former Prime Minister. Thank you, Nanny State, for protecting me.

The weather here is bitterly cold. At night the temperature is dropping as low as 19°C, and during the day it struggles to reach 30°C. Everyone around town is wearing thick jackets to stave off the cold. And further north it’s even colder. Sadly, several people have died of hypothermia.

Four of six ancient Buddha figures at a temple near here have been destroyed, and two Buddha figure heads stolen by thieves. The abbot didn’t bother reporting the incident to the police since they haven’t done anything productive following previous thefts. This sort of theft is pretty commonplace. I can only view with utter contempt the western collectors who fuel this trade.

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