A group of insurgent squirrels gained access to a transformer, caused a short circuit and burned down a Club in Pattaya. The squirrels were killed in the fire, Pattaya police reported.
The insurgents are part of a group known as Independence for Squirrels In Siam (ISIS). They demand their own independent state in the last 50 square kilometers of forest left in Thailand. They claim that they have been driven from their homes by Burmese migrant workers cutting down Thailand’s national forest to grow maize for the Argro-Industrial Food Processing Companies.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that a maize crop, after harvesting, leaves behind fields of dry straw. Pyromaniacs set fire to this straw and the flames soon spread through what is left of the forest. The squirrels are then forced to migrate to urban areas to avoid the flames. It is estimated that there are now more than a million migrant squirrels living in Thailand’s cities. A spokesman for ISIS said that squirrels had nothing to loose and would rather burn in a transformer than burn in a maize field.
However, the migrants have not been accepted by locals, especially in Pattaya (Thailand’s leading sea-side resort). A protest group has been organised by Goring Wilders, a Dutchman who owns the “Wogs not Welcome” bar. In an interview with Private Tye, Wilders told us that Squirrels did not accept Pattaya’s culture and that they frequently stole from grocery shops. “They should go back to their own country” he said.
Pattaya police said that they would get on to the ISIS insurgency problem when they had time, but that at the moment they were busy rounding up African prostitutes and Ladyboys.
The story from The Nation (15 March):
A squirrel was blamed for transformer explosion which led to a fire broke out at an entertainment venue on Pattaya City’s Walking Street in Chon Buri's Bang Lamung district Wednesday morning.
No one was injured.
City mayor Pol Maj-General Anan Charoenchasri said the blaze started after a squirrel triggered an electrical problem.
Following the fire report at about 8am, Muang Pattaya Police Station investigation superintendent Colonel Chatchapil Pattarasiriporn contacted the Fire Department and five fire engines were dispatched. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the inside of the Rock Street Pattaya club.
A cleaner told police she heard the transformer in front of the shop explode three times before the flames spread quickly in the business and she and fellow workers fled the building and alerted police.