By Sukit Bejrsuwana
Here I was, immature at 23 years old with a full head of hair, yet brimming with ambition, protesting in front of the Thai Consulate in Chicago, with the hope that Bloody May (17-24 May 1992) would cease.
My protest was truly benign compared to what brave Thais faced to oust General Suchinda Krapayoon, just for a single lie, a lie that he wouldn’t take the premiership. He responded by making dozens die and had many disappear.
The bloodshed only ended when King Rama 9 stepped in.
Twenty-eight years later, is Thailand better off? Materially? Yes. Morally and rationally? I don’t think so. Too many of us are too happy to keep things the way they are, comforting ourselves that “This is Thailand.”
I am now 52. My kids are 20 and 17. I don’t agree with everything they say or how they say it. But they have the right to say it, and I was once young too.
I would be selfish and hypocritical if I deny them of their ambitions and hopes, to speak about and to question the dozens of lies this government has told in the past six years.
Would I be considered selfish if I worried too much about my next 20 years in life while ignoring the next 60 years of my kids’ lives?
I choose to stand with the kids.
They are worth supporting. Their fight is nobler than ours. People like me had our chances. It’s their turn and time. We can’t be with them forever. So be with them now and guide them objectively to be able to stand on their own.
I hope this government won’t make the same mistake that General Suchinda made. We no longer have King Rama 9 to step in.
May the year 2021 be the beginning of Thailand’s Age of Enlightenment.