17 June 2005

Some thoughts on the Siem Reap tragedy


For me, the most telling item to come out of the kindergarten hostage taking in Siem Reap was that the criminals asked for only $1000, but demanded rather extreme weapons — rocket-propelled grenades. It points to a complete lack of comprehension as to just how much money most expats have. For the hostage-takers, $1000 was all the money in the world; I think it would have shocked them to discover that many of the parents of the children spent $1000 every month on housing alone.

The men also could not have had any understanding of what was likely to happen to them when they crossed the border into Thailand.

Their desperation — possibly fueled by drugs — and their ignorance of the world, combined to create this tragedy.