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A severely wounded man is carried out from Rama 4 road in to Soi Ngam Duphli to waiting ambulances after having been shot by army snipers - Takeaway photo


The bus stop below the Big C shopping complex on the right of this picture is where the bombing took place - NR file photo


Opposite the Big C the Central World Shopping Center has been partially burned beyond repair - NR file photo



Travel Tips - Cambodia - Thailand - BANGKOK & THAILAND ARE DANGEROUS


Two bombings within a week in heavily trafficked tourist areas continue to raise havoc in a country televising advertising for tourists..... Thailand as you remember it. YES WE DO - Life is Cheap in Cambodia


Richard Ricciardi - National Radio Text Service

Saturday July 31, 2010


Thailand is now televising an ad promotion for tourists stating Amazing Thailand as you remember it. YES WE DO! When you think about that it's not a good thing. Over the 22 years that we've traveled and lived in Thailand we've experienced some of the best and worst times the country has to offer. Our most lasting memory of the land of smiles is the rioting, burning and the shooting of innocent civilians which is well documented.

The country remains under emergency decree meaning that groups of 5 people for political purposes is against the law and one can be locked up for 30 days without being charged if law enforcement chooses. Suspicion of an individual qualifies for an arrest. That doesn't paint a pretty picture of a safe place to travel.

Within a week's time there have been two bomb explosions both of which the government claims are not politically motivated. Yesterday a grenade exploded in the early morning hours near the victory Monument which is a major transportation hub. Only one person was reported injured from the blast.

This past Sunday another bomb exploded at a bus stop in front of the Big C department store in the same area that has numerous up market shopping centers and hotels that red shirt protesters occupied for seven weeks. This explosion resulted in one death and nine injuries according to the Bangkok Post.

When the explosion occurred during rush hour the number 2 bus arrived at the scene. That bus travels a route along the Sukhumvit Road corridor to the heavily populated tourist area of Khao San road. It also is a heavily trafficked tourist area where several deaths occurred.

When the red shirts set up their camp and occupied the central Bangkok shopping Ratachdumri Road area in May several deaths occurred. Overall there were 90 deaths reported as a result of the seven week red shirt protests against the government. During uprising foreigners and members of the press were among the deaths and one of the largest shopping centers in the region was burned down.

Prior to July 8th 19 provinces including Bangkok were under emergency decree. It was later reduced to sixteen provinces including Bangkok. News reports note that the red shirts are maintaining a low profile but intend to resume protests against the government which they feel is unlawful since they are in office without having the vote of the people.

Some government officials want the emergency decree to be removed for fear that it hurts the country's image. Tourist agencies and business also want it removed since they are not doing the business they desire. Others feel it is necessary for fear of more violence in their area with Chiang Mai another tourist hot spot being a concern.


When you consider that former Khmer Rouge soldier Kiang Guek Eav aka Duch who is responsible for murdering and torturing between 12-14,000 people you would think that he would receive more than a 35 year sentence for these crimes. The light sentence shows how cheap a life is valued in Cambodia.

Since Duch was unlawfully held 11 years in pre trial detention 5 years was taken off his sentence thus he will only have 19 more years behind bars before he is considered a free man.

When you do the math at 14,000 deaths Duch is being punished only one day per murder on a 35 year detention. At 30 years he serves only 18 hours per murder. At 19 years imprisonment he is detained only 12 hours per murder.

Moreover the suffering of lives lost to family's can never be replaced but for some strange reason this sentence seems justified by a court largely comprised of Cambodia judges.

Bernard Krisher the publisher of the Cambodia Daily newspaper and a holocaust survivor wrote in a letter to the editor to his publication that Duch should be hanged.

When you read the daily there are reports in the July 27th issue noting that a 15 year-old boy scavenger was released from jail after being detained nearly a year. His crime was he was SUSPECTED of stealing a Generals wife's purse containing over $10,000.

There was no evidence reported and the boy remained a scavenger after supposedly having over $10,000. Another item in the same issue reports on a man sentenced for 20 years for trafficking meth and fined $10,000. Cambodia law states that a trafficker found with more than 300g of drugs can face a life sentence and up to a $24,000 fine. Apparently this individual is in the wrong business as murder and torture carries a lighter sentence.

The mentality and the value for life is much different in Cambodia. Is it safe? It's up to you.

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