19 August 2015
Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine reopened this morning. On Monday evening, the shrine in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district was the scene of a devastating bomb attack that killed 20 and wounded more than a hundred people. This morning, the vendors selling flower garlands were back and so too were the worshippers paying their respects to the victims of the atrocity. Candles were lit, prayers were said and incense wafted through the Bangkok morning air. Traffic whizzed by at the busy Ratchaprasong Intersection as if it was a normal Bangkok morning. But it wasn’t a normal Bangkok morning. The city, and Thailand as a whole, has been shocked by events that have unfolded over the last few days.
Security in various locations around Bangkok, including Ratchaprasong, has been tightened. Soldiers and police are on patrol and plain clothes officers are mingling with crowds at key locations in the Thai capital. In the wake of the bomb attack on Monday and the attempted attack on Tuesday, public transport in Bangkok has been quieter than usual and shopping malls have seen fewer visitors. People in Bangkok are understandably jittery at the moment but, as this morning’s re-opening of the Erawan Shrine illustrates, life goes on. As it should. The cowards responsible for the bombs must not be allowed to dictate their own twisted agenda.