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Has our society lost its way?
- Subject: Has our society lost its way?
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 02:12:00
November 18, 1998
Has our society lost
Statistics compiled by the Womenís Foundation show that seven or
women are raped every day in Thailand. Additional to these crimes
the countless cases of wife beating and sexual assault committed
young girls which are never reported. Yet the gang-rape at the
of two teenage girls, one of them a 14-year-old student, allegedly by
five vocational students is particularly outrageous even if the victims
were not seriously hurt.
The incident was outrageous because the perpetrators clearly have no
respect for the law. According to press reports, the suspects, a gang
five students from Buranaphond Technical School in Bang Na,
No 134 at Chatuchak park after celebrating a birthday. While on the
witnesses say the five grabbed the two victims and abused them
without any regard for the other passengers. The gang reportedly
the other passengers not to interfere, claiming the victims were their
girlfriends. The got off the bus in Bang Bua Thong where they forced
two girls into a house and gang-raped them.
This case also is outrageous because no one on the bus, neither the
passengers, the bus driver or the conductor, cared to help the poor
girls who witnesses say were weeping and crying as they were being
molested. The bus driver claims he saw nothing unusual because the
was packed, while the conductor, who had been intimidated by the
who refused to pay the fare, was apparently aware of what was
but opted not to anything. A passenger was reported to have said later
he was too afraid to intervene for fear for his own safety.
What is most outrageous of all was the statement reportedly made by
director of the vocational school. He was quoted as saying the rape
would not have been possible if the victims had not consented. He also
said the five students would not be expelled unless they are found
guilty by the courts. He may be right in treating his students as
innocent until proven otherwise, but his attitude is one of total
insensitivity and arrogance.
The incident clearly shows something is terribly wrong with Thai
society. Has Thai hospitality and care for our fellow man given way to
The bus driver thought it was none of his business so he did not
intervene to help the poor girls. Nor did he bother to stop the bus and
report the crime to any of several police stations along the bus route.
The passengers thought likewise. "Why risk our lives with these young
hooligans?" they might have asked themselves before they looked the
other way. We must wonder if they feel any sense of guilty.
Something must be done by the authorities to make the drivers of
transport vehicles such as buses realise they are responsible for the
safety of their passengers. This does not mean only that they should
drive carefully and abide by all the road rules. It means they must
help, if possible, any passenger who is in danger.
Many victims of rape, sexual assault, beatings and other forms of
violence inflicted by their loved ones or others could have been spared
if witnesses to their torment refused to treat these incidents as
"family affairs" but as crimes which are punishable by law.
Public calls for revenge against the five suspects in this latest
outrage do not really help solve the problem. Nor can it heal the pain
of the victims. Only if we care for the defenceless and refuse to ignore
this and other forms of violence can there ever be a chance that
incidents such as this one on bus No 134 are not repeated.
© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 1998
Last Modified: Wed, Nov 18, 1998
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