South East Asia :: March - June 1995

Subject: Film at Eleven
Date: April 14, 1995 20:37

19:19 Saswasdee Guest House; Bangkok-Thailand :: 14 APR 95

This just in . . .

The Songkran Massacre

Bangkok, April 14, 1995: Fierce fighting has been reported here over the last two days with hostilities centred within the Khao San district of the city. "It's a complete bath out there," one source close to a government building said. Apparently, combatants have acquired every vessel and water-pistol in the city and are employing these in an all-out effort to drench any opposition. One individual outside the United Nations building claimed no responsibility, "What we have here is a clear case of 'year-end cleansing.'" Among other recorded atrocities, street-fighters are said to be using ice-water and liberally employing ghastly hues of food colouring, the grisly effects of which are evident on the bodies of thousands of casualties already counted in this distressing episode of watercide. Grandmothers and children barely able to lift a water balloon have been pressed into battle in perhaps the world's first true example of 'all-out-war'.

Reports indicate the fighting began late on Wednesday the 12th, the eve of the Thai New Year, referred to by the Thais as 'Songkran'. It quickly grew in intensity causing, according to one witness, "veritable floods" within some of the drinking and eating establishments along Khao San road, a popular area for foreign travelers. Americans, Canadians, French, English, German and Australian nationals are among the confirmed casualties. Many foreign nationals have taken up buckets and water-cannon in self-defense, serving only to escalate hostilities.

Rumours that some splinter groups had begun the application of talcum powder and, in a much more serious development, White Paste (a noxious mixture of talcum powder and water) have been linked with the flood of refugees in the early hours of the New Year. Grid-lock halted the exodus on several routes out of the city leaving the stranded waterless and, thus, defenseless. Fortunately, few skirmishes have been reported amongst these hapless victims.

In an unusual twist, the local government seems to be aiding all sides in the fighting. Ammunition shipments are being delivered by city crews in water trucks. Several incidents have even been reported where these crews then turn their hoses on the very forces they just supplied.

At this hour, reports of water exchanges have fallen off somewhat though the howls and splatters characteristic of the fighting can be heard sporadically throughout the city and most knowing residents stay under-cover fearing roof-top snipers armed with large buckets. Most feared, however, are the mobile groups mounted on pick-up trucks and motorcycles. Using stealth and superior speed, their hit-and-run tactics have left many an unsuspecting victim thoroughly soaked. The street infantry takes excessive glee in overwhelming any such force that becomes bogged down in the intense struggle for control of the roadways.

Though there have been no calls for cease-fire, or even negotiations (except from beleaguered foreigners unprepared for the ceaseless deluge), most experts here agree that the "rain of terror" will continue through the weekend with hostilities ceasing entirely only if, as is rumoured to be the case, everyone must return to work on Monday. By then one thing is certain: there will not be a dry shirt in the city.

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --

Send lawyers, guns and money.
The shit has hit the fan.
  graphical element Warren Zevon