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We should pause to mourn, then come to our senses: Gothom

THAIS FROM all sides should mourn the deaths of five people in the clashes between police and anti-government protesters on Tuesday as well as the 11 others who have died since the current conflict began, well-known peace advocate Gothom Arya said yesterday.

Gothom said a mourning process done quietly at home by everyone could help all sides come to their senses and hopefully realise how senseless the situation has become.

"[We should] find time to mourn and reflect on the deaths from all sides so we may come to our senses," he told The Nation.

While it's unclear who's to blame for the deaths in the clashes at the Phan Fah Lilat Bridge on Monday, Gothom said the truth will eventually emerge and all sides should not be too quick to point the finger at one another. Instead, he said, what society needs is to pressure all sides to stick with the proper rules of engagement in conflict situations.

Protesters as well as police should try to ensure that no deadly weapon is employed. A bomb hit a police cordon yesterday and protesters as well as police were shot and this shouldn't have happened, said Gothom.

"Both sides have exacerbated the situation," he said. "The society, economy and politics have suffered as a result."

He warned that another military coup would not solve anything, as proven by the 2006 action, which ousted Thaksin Shinawatra, the older brother of caretaker premier Yingluck Shinawatra. Violent confrontation between supporters of both sides would also bring about a worst-case scenario for Thailand, he warned.

Gothom urged the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) as well as other groups to seriously spend time thinking about reform and pushing for tangible change such as land reform and progressive taxes that are acceptable to all.


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