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Pattaya Daily News

12 February 2009 :: 22:02:14 pm 2148

Thai Youth Getting Out of Hand

Recent media reports are currently highlighting a very disturbing trend among Thai students youth, small factions of whom are apparently hell bent on annihilating each other. Some commenators actualy blame such media reporting forexacerbating the conflict, probably correctly, considering the Thai .fascination with media and publicity.
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PDN first reported on the Thai motorbike gangs some time ago, who wreak havoc in Pattaya nearly every weekend, terrorizing locals as rival gangs wage a war, occasionally involving shootings, which the police appear powerless to stop. Recently, there was a case of gang rivalry at an Isarn temple, in which a grenade was thrown into a crowd at a pop concert there, killing two and wounding 13 other innocents.

On February 1, two Bangkok schools, Phrakhanong Wittayalai School and Petcharavuth School, on a visit to Ayuttaya began scuffles which led to a 17-year-old student had been stabbed in the stomach.

Of far greater concern, however, was the incident On February 11, at Mah Boon Krong Shopping Plaza, where approximately 100 students from two rival educational institutes, Uthen Thawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology and Pathumwan Institute of Technology, fought a pitched battle, armed with guns, knives and stones in front of thousands of alarmed shoppers, bus commuters, motorists and bystanders. Sounds of gunshots rent the air, but no-one was shot, apparently, though more through good luck than good management. A squad of police mobilised to quell the violence, proved as ineffectual as they had at Suvarnabhumi during the airport siege. They only succeeding in arresting three students armed with a pistol and a few knives, the vast majority, escaped scot free.

The rivalry between these two vocational colleges has apparently been ongoing for several decades and a recent reconciliation ceremony staged by the police between representatives of the opposing factions, after a similar outbreak on January 28, which resulted in the death of 2 students, fooled no-one. The 2 institutes in question are, by all accounts, hotbeds of random violence, rampant drug taking and other delinquent acts, by students whose intellectual acumen was not sufficient to allow them to attend bona fide universities. Police even warned a prospective foreign English teacher who was seeking work at one of the colleges that he should learn to shoot for his own self protection.

Representatives of the administration of the 2 colleges, although apparently concerned about the recurrent violence between their 2 colleges appear as powerless as the police at preventing it, apart from making ineffectual suggestions about holding joint classes.

Yet, by the simple stationing of armed police officers, conducting random searches for offensive weapons as is practiced in the US at many educational institutes, including high schools, backed up by suitable deterrent measures, including heavy fines, extensive community service and, as a last resort, drafting offenders into military service, would at least stem some of the violence, as would identical measures in similar youth conflict situations.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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