Saturday, November 15, 2008
Anti-government protesters in Bangkok have resorted to sorcery and black magic in their campaign to topple the elected administration
Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the leaders of the group which is illegally occupying the seat of Thai government, claimed in a recent televised speech that a wicked wizard has blocked the protective power of some of Bangkok's holiest sites. Sondhi and his so called People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) claim that they are protecting Thailand and its monarchy from allegedly corrupt democratic politicians. The technique Sonhi used to break the alleged spell sounds extreme. He described how his own magicians removed six imaginary nails that had been placed around a towering royal statue in the city center to block its power. "I must thank the women of the PAD," he continued, "because after [the imaginary nails] were pulled out, to ensure they could not be replaced, they took sanitary napkins from menstruating women and placed them over the six points. Experts said the (evil wizards) were furious because they could not send their spirits back," Sondhi boasted, "Their magic was rendered ineffective!" In Thai superstition women's sexuality, and especially menstrual blood, is believed to have great destructive power. "People who don't like the PAD will think they have lost it and gone quite mad," said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political scientist. But he added, "A lot of Thai people believe in this." The PAD has occupied Government house since August 2008, demanding the government step down. In October, Queen Sirikit, wife of Thailand's revered King Bhumibol gave the movement her public support. Critics say that the PAD aims to disenfranchise the majority or poor voters whose power at the ballot box threatens the old elite. Sondhi has denied that he believes in black magic. Dressed in white and sprinkling Government House with holy water he told the Bangkok Post, "The rituals I performed are paying homage to sacred spirits and my respected teachers." Dr Thitinan said the magic is designed to appeal emotionally to supporters. "It's manipulation, it's spin, it's some genuine belief," he said. "Going around sprinkling holy water means things are not going your way, you want to chase the demons away."