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Chaos at Ram Uni should be carefully weighed

The clashes last week around Rajamangala Stadium and Ramkhamhaeng University have resulted in the usual outbursts of claim and counter claim.

For example, the writers of two letters published yesterday, Edward B Duhigg and CM Phillips, state unequivocally that those who died during the clashes were students, killed by red shirts. However, several detailed reports in the English language media indicate that one fatality was a student, one was a Cambodian construction worker, and one was a soldier and red shirt supporter who, his family say, had attended previous red shirt rallies. The other two who died were reported as being red shirt supporters. Very few, if any, of the contributors to the Letters Page, myself included, were there to witness these violent clashes, so we can only base our statements on what we presume to be reliable reports in respected newspapers or other media outlets. Such violent incidents are always chaotic affairs, and it is difficult, even for eyewitnesses, to be sure as to what actually happened. So, assertions made with such absolute certainty should, in my opinion, be treated with scepticism. It seems to me most likely that the clashes erupted between two groups of thugs, who may or may not have been "red shirt supporters" or "students" and who were probably both spoiling for a fight. I don't think this tragic affair has much direct relevance to the current political crisis, it only serves as another opportunity for both sides to indulge in propaganda and point scoring.

Robin Grant


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