Monday, December 06, 2004
Thailand bombs its Muslim region with 100 million origami
The Thai government gets an A+ for originality. In a move to pacify the Muslim areas of the country, the Thai air force dropped 100 million hand-made "peace birds" in the southern area of Thailand where Muslims predominate. According to Reuters,
The bird campaign, launched by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra weeks ahead of a general election, caught the imagination of the predominantly Buddhist country, even in Bangkok where sympathy for the Malay-speaking south is limited.
Everyone from cabinet ministers to cab drivers huddled in groups to fold birds -- they were meant to be doves, a symbol of peace, but most turned out to look more like cranes -- after Thaksin called on all 63 million Thais to make one.
Reuters describes it as "probably the biggest origami airdrop in history." I don't know if it will help, but at least it won't make the situation worse—which is what this was guaranteed to do—
.... 85 Muslims died after a demonstration.
Most suffocated or were crushed to death in army trucks in which they had been stacked "like bricks".