Saturday, October 08, 2011

Red Shirt Leader's Amazing Escape

Last week there was an article by our local correspondent in Thailand, Liang Dongping regarding the escape of Red-shirt leader Arisman Pongruanrong from the crackdown in Bangkok last year to Cambodia. After disappearing for many months since the crackdown, he was thought to be dead, probably killed by the soldiers. But recently he resurfaced in Cambodia, telling the Thai media through the phone an amazing story on how he managed to escape at that time.
Arisman related how he was given 3 amulets by a monk and taught a katha of invisibility some time ago. At first he did not make much of it, but after the monk appeared in his dreams reminding him to wear the amulets, he started to do as he was told. So when the troops moved in to attack the protesters on May 19th last year, he wore his amulets and calmly walked barefooted out of the Rachaprasong barricade, while reciting the katha. He walked all the way to the Makasan bridge a few kilometers away before making his escape on motorbike. Believe it or not none of the soldiers at Rachaprasong was able to see him and he travelled all the way to Cambodia unstopped. Arisman hid in Cambodia until today, and fearing persecution he only dared to resurface after the Peua Thai party came back to power.

Mr Liang commented that he was sceptical of this story, but there were many in Thailand who believed Arisman. Mysticism has always been a part of Thai culture and history, deeply rooted inside their psyche. Liang added that there were many "magic men" or white-robe Ajarns in Thailand, the most famous one being White Dragon King in Pattaya. He was like the Godfather of many HK and Taiwan celebrities, but hardly known in Thailand itself. But Liang didn't really believe much in such things, dismissing the mysticism as superstition.

However, there's no need to doubt the protective powers of properly consecrated amulets as they have been proven since ancient times up to today. That is why so many people both in and out of Thailand believe in them. There is no point trying to convince sceptics as such things have to be experienced for oneself before one can believe that they are real. As for mystical powers such as the katha of invisiblity, that is real too. This kind of Wicha exist in many Asian mystical traditions since time immemorial and are only taught to a selected few. Arisman must have great affinity with the monk for him to teach the katha to him. But I think it is also his good karma and that he is not destined to die or be captured at Rachaprasong. Let's hope that he can make good use of his luck and knowledge to help bring reconciliation back to a politically torn Thailand.

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