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Mission hinter den Kulissen

Von Autorin Uschi Entenmann

Thailand steht am Rande des Chaos. Im Süden versuchen 60.000 Milizionäre, die zugewanderten Muslime aus Malaysia in Schach zu halten, in vier Jahren gab es viertausend Tote und zehntausend Verletzte. Im Norden kämpfen königstreue Gelbhemden gegen Rothemden, die Gegner der Monarchie und Oligarchie. Im Hintergrund wirkt Gothom Arya, lädt die verfeindeten Parteien ein und sorgt dafür, dass sie miteinander reden.

The middle of the night. Total darknes in Songhkla mosque. Three dozen pilgrims lie on the stone floor. Yesterday they walked 20 miles in 100-degree heat. Only one is awake and already eating a breakfast of rice soup: Gothom Arya. “I need quiet time in the morning,” he says with a smile. “I’m an old man, after all.”

He is 66. He abandoned his air-conditioned university office in Bangkok to come here all the way on foot. His mission: peace. “Three people die every day, and nobody seems to care anymore.” His method - inviting hostile parties to talk to each other and moderating their discussion - sounds simple. It’s the execution that will wear you out. “I’m afraid,” he says, “of the day when the king dies.”…