Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Songkran

On the penultimate day, we collected RM5 for the HELP for Haiti Fund, and this brings the grand total of monies collected since February 10, 2010 to RM8,055.

I have also received confirmations from another two Toastmasters Clubs to do my ACG speeches – that brings the total to nine. Just one more club to say “aye” and I am done with my ACG completion plan!

This evening, I was at the Subang Toastmasters Club (thanks to David Ann) where I did my speech # 2: Interpreting Poetry from the same advanced manual. My speech was titled “Lalla Rookh”, an 1817 poem by Thomas Moore (left). My evaluator was David himself – and overall I acquitted myself rather well. He made a good suggestion though, and that is I should make “arrangement for a bar stool (and) music stand for (an) outstanding presentation". Anyway, two speeches done and 8 more to go!

I read in Star today that Thailand’s Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya had accused ousted prime minister Thaksin of stoking Saturday’s violent clashes, and even said he was financing the Red Shirts “to the tune of about US$3 million (RM9.68 million) per day” (p W36). This scoundrel is indeed extremely wealthy, so what is US$3 million a day if he can be crowned Prime Minister again?

But the bigger worry is the fact that victims of Saturday’s bloodshed tell of an armed ‘third force’ who sprayed (live) bullets at security forces as well as the Red Shirts (Star, April 14, 2010, p N10). All the more reason for all parties to quickly find an amenable political solution, right?.



And with Thais celebrating the Songkran water festival – which marks their traditional new year – at least we observe an easing of tension and a respite from hostility. Instead, we witness everybody, even the Red Shirts splashing water at each other and dueling with water pistols throughout the day. They should do this every day!

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