The section of Thai Literature is the place where it exhibits “old literatures” and presents the “new literatures”.
The section of the “old literature” offers the knowledge of old Thai literatures from the ancient time, trying to exhibit those literatures as many as possible. The literatures are presented in brief and historic forms together with some criticisms as appropriate.
The section of “new literatures” offers various kinds of books, which are considered worth reading. Those books can be either technical texts or publications for entertainment purposes. Each book is briefly described together with some criticisms.
Eliot Hope, the American millionaire who was a very influential to the United States president and politicians was the person behind the scene of CIA’s plan to send Arthur Lancelot Bellinger to work underground in Russia in order to dissolve the Empire of Soviet Union. Many colonial nations of the Union readily rose for their independence after the dissolution. United States became the most powerful country and there is no longer rival competing for power to control the world. Hope got the benefits from the monopoly concession business in those newly born countries. He founded the foundation for charity “Hope and Happiness (HHF)” with the goals to help poor people in non-developed countries, but that was only his plan to hide his real purposes that he wanted to take the benefits from those countries as much as possible.
In Burma, the military dictating SLORC take complete control of the administration. They confine Ong Saan Sue Gee. The association of university student organized the resistant movements but they were repeatedly suppressed. An American tourist, named Mr. Collinson, was caught in Rangoon and later died. The US government then planed to bring down the SLORC and provide supports to the guerillas groups, that currently fight the SLORC for independence, just the same way they did in Russia. Hope was behind this plan and has negotiated with the president to send Lance Bellinger, a great skill CIA, to Thailand in order to carry out the plan. Mandy Ong, an American-Burmese working as an official of HHF who has good relationship with the guerillas leaders, is assigned to help in this mission. Hope gave Lance 2 millions US dollars for the expenses of the plan. When Heartley Algate, the minister of foreign affair, proposed the plan for the president’s authorize, Lance then readily travel to Thailand. Mandy Ong fetched him up at the airport and act as his permanent assistant.
While Lance was entering Thailand, Victor Leskov, a former Russian KGB who knew Lance’s plan to dissolve Russia, was a secretary to the Russian Embassy. He saved a beautiful Russian prostitute, Patasha, from Thai pimps’ detention. Patasha also provide Leskov some help. Leskov found Lance by chance and he suddenly got doubted because he used to face Lance in Russia before. He then started spying on Lance movements.
Before they start the plan, Mandy Ong told Lance all the stories of Burma and guerillas groups rising for independence. She disagreed that Lance was going to urge the fighting in Burma because she strongly believed in Karma, the Buddhist sermon, but she however would provide any possible help to Lance.
Lance and Ong start the underground work by making contact to Khun Sa, a leader to Shan State Army, in order to urg him rising for independence and also coordinate with other guerillas groups to fight against Burmese Army. Leskov continuously spied on Lace’s plan and movements. Thai police officers, Pongsak and Wichai, also follow up these movements. While Lance and Ong were in Shan State for negotiation, it was Shan State’s national day. There were parades and celebrations. The Wah army launched the attack hoping to kill Khun Sa. Lance set up the plan for Khun Sa’s army to push out the Wha army and managed to kill some soldiers of Wha army. When Lance and Ong arrived back to Bangkok, they knew about Leskov’s spying. At the same time, the Burmese army also knows about Lance’s plan. They then sent Mong Tin and Tan Gee to follow up these movements.
Lance and Ong traveled to Tha Song Yang district, Tak province. They went to Nerplor, the base of Karen army and negotiated with General Bo Mia. Once again, the base was attacked. This time it was the Burmese army. Lance helped Karen by setting the plan to fight back and expelled the enemy. When he got back to Bangkok, he then realized that the Burmese knew his plan and movements. Lance suspected Hope was the one who told the Burmese his plan and movements, but no obvious evidence to support this assumption. The most suspicious evidence was that the weapons used by Wah and Burmese army to attacked Lance were guns from USA. When Leskov knew that the Burmese also followed Lance’s movement, he then cooperated with the Burmese.
After the negotiation with Karen army, Lance and Ong went to negotiated with Suai Gen, the president of Mon army at Sunkalaburi. Mong Tin, Tan Gee, and Leskov set up the plan to seize them. Leskov saw Tan Gee was going to seize Lance. But Pongsak, a Thai police officer helped Lance and Ong because CIA had asked Thai police to provide protection for Lance and Ong. Pongsak told Lance and Ong about the chase of the Burmese’s army and Leskov’s. When they got back to Bangkok, Lance saw Enola Linder, a friend of Hope, talking to Kadel, a frelance soldier and weapon trader to Cambodia, Laos, and others guerrillas groups. Enola was granted as oil concession from the SLORC. This situation had caused him thinking of more suspicious behavior of Hope. He thought Hope could have acted on both sides just for his own benefits in business.
To get rid of the doubts caused by Leskov’ spying, Lance decided to meet Leskov at the Russian Embassy. Both of them managed to understand each other and became friends. Tan Gee mistake in failing to seize Lance caused him a new mission, to assassinate Mr Algate, the US minister of foreign affair, when Algate came for the Asian Ministerial conference. The Chinese and Russian foreign ministers were also coming to the conference. Tan Gee went to ark Sansak, a head of boxing camp, for help. But Sansak was killed during the raid of Thai police, lead by Pongsak. The photograph of Algate was found at the camp, so Pongsak figured out that Tan Gee was planning to assassinate Algate. Hope and Enola were also planning to assassinate Algate for their benefits in commercial and trades. The reason is that if the US has conflicts with China, Hope would get the benefits. Noles, a CIA director, told Lance about Hope’s and Enola’s behaviour, and also, the reports of US guns that are in possession of Burmese soldiers and other guerillas groups.
Kadel planned to kill Algate by using a recoilless gun, a M20 with 75 mm bullet, shoot from a high rise building being constructed nearby Chao Praya river. This building is opposite the Grand River Palace Hotel where the conference was held. He used the weapon that was made in China, which he swapped, with the same weapon, made in USA, from Kmer Rouge. Tan Gee was also planning to use a bomb because he was a bomb expert. He planned to place the bomb in the conference room. Tan Gee planned this together with Akom, a Thai pimp who detained Natasha.
Leskov knew that Natasha was detained so he asked for help from Thai police. After the police raid, the police saw the sketch of conference room and plan of assassination. Tan Gee poisoned Akom in order to keep the plan in secret. Lance, Pongsak, and Wichai knew the plan of assassination from Leskov. They then commanded for the full alert and full check of the conference room vicinity. But Tan Gee managed to disguise as a hotel staff and placed the bomb under the vase behind the chair for the US minister of foreign affair. Kadel planned to use a tower crane in construction site to lift up the recoilless gun to the firing position. He had Kumron as his assistant. They both stayed overnight to prepare for the mission on the following day, Sunday, at 10 am. More importantly, they had to seize Pallister, a CIA in Thailand, too. If the mission is accomplished, they would killed Pallister. If Pallister’s body was found with a gun made in China, there would certainly be conflict between China and USA, which goes exactly as Hope had already planned.
Saturday evening, 9.00 pm, just after dinner, Wichai, Pongsak, Lance, and Ong came to the conference room for the final safety check. Pongsak found Tan Gee, disguised as a hotel staff, came to the hotel for setting up the wiring of the time bomb. They fought and Tan Gee managed to catch Mandy Ong as a hostage. He pointed his gun the Ong’s neck and dragged her to the car park. The other three closely followed him. Leskov, who was coincidentally there, managed to lock up Tan Gee while he was stepping in the car.
In the morning of the conference day, Lance spotted on the gunpoint by using his binocular from the conference room. He then rushed to the construction site together with Ong, Wicahi, and Pongsak. He also gave command to postpone Mr. Algate’s time to enter the conference room, scheduled at 10.00 am. In that morning, Enola brought the money for Kadel and observe the assassination by herself.
After having been 10 minutes delayed, Mr.Algate refused to wait any further . He then walked into the conference room. Kadel loaded the bullets and prepared to fire. Wichai decided to shoot at Kumron, causing him hurtled Kadel’s gun. So the shooting missed the target. The flame of the firing burnt Enola who was standing at the back. Kadel was shot by Lance and died at the scene. Pallister was then saved.
Lance gave up working as a CIA. He then married Ong and went for their honeymoon at the 8th island in Thailand’s southern Andaman Sea. He found Hope who was hiding under the SLORC protection and living in his yacht with fear of being killed by the CIA. He was like a dead man although he owned millions of dollars. The CIA, although they have no clear evidence, revealed all Hope’s secrets, greed, and his irresponsibility to society. Ong said that Hope had paid for what he had done. Lance and Ong went back to Bangkok to visit Pongsak, Wichai, Pallister, and Leskov who already got married to Natasha. Then, Lance was going back to work as a lecturer at the university in USA. While they were having dinner, Ong was stunned by the news that said the Burmese had attacked the Karen’s main base run by General Bo Mia and managed to dissolve this strong military post. The Burmese army would then carry on the endless killing and fighting with the rest guerrillas groups.
“Until the Karma ends” is a novel with style of political spy. Paul Adirex wrote in English and Wipada Kittikowit translated into Thai. This is the 4th publication of this novel published in 2543 B.E. The novel has been on a good sale record of being published once every year. From a straight reading, it is shown that the translator has well represented the novel in Thai. The majority of words and phrases are smoothly described in Thai, which brings broad attention of Thai readers whom read the novel with fun and excitement. At the climax of the novel, when Lancelot Bellinger, Sompong, and Wichai interfering the assassination plan of the US foreign affair minister, ordered by Enola. The man behind the entire plan was Hope who cared only of his own benefits without considering anything else. The excitement is that there was the limited time to solve the problem and risk.
The theme of this novel is clearly described. The conversation referring Karma, which is the Buddhism sermon, between Mandy Ong and Lance who were the leading characters are well represented. Although they belonged to different religion, they managed to understand each other. Ong had emphasized that the people of the guerrillas groups and other minorities are still under the hard time, which all fighting still goes on and they would hardly have a permanent home. All of the things that happened are the results of Karma, which they committed for a long time ago and it will continue as long as the people are still greedy and selfishly arguing on their own benefit. Ong dis not expect Lance to accomplish his mission because she knew and understood the nature, the way of life of the people that Lance was going to face very well. Although she knew that it would not be successful, she still supported him and they then fell in love and finally got married.
The plot of “Until the Karma ends” follows the rules of Karma, which Mandy Ong pointed out. That is, in each of our incarnation, we all have our own Karma and will face the results of the Karma we committed. Human’s passion and prejudices cause the Karma.
The national level passion in this novel is that the USA wished to be the most powerful country. It then planned to dissolve the Soviet Union by supporting the uprising of small colonial countries to fight the Russian government until the dissolution of the Union. Being more influential in this region of Southeast Asia, especially to change the administration system in Burma to be democratic, the USA does not gain only the benefits in commerce and trades, but also to balance this influence of China. The US government sent a high skill CIA agent to carry out their plan by using Thailand as their base for operation. It also asked Thai government to provide assistance as requested.
Hope, an American millionaire who was selfish and greedy with endless passions, misuse his intelligence in setting up plans for his own desired benefits. He is very influential to politicians, political parties, and also the president of the USA because he provided them financial supports. Hope founded the foundation for Charity “Hope and Happiness (HHF)” as if he wanted to help the poor countries, but the fact is that he used this Foundation to secretly find benefits from those countries in every possible way. The small states in Burma are also involved. Several groups of minorities were key mechanism to interfere the country’s administration in order to gain business advantages and benefits for Hope. Lance accomplished his mission, financially supported by Hope, in Russia where Hope had monopoly concession in those newly born countries.
Hope proposed the plan the US president to launch the underground mission in Burma. With his political influences, he managed to support Algate to be the US minister of foreign affair. He also supported Noles to be the CIA director. He then asked CIA to send Lance to carry out the plan he set for underground work in Burma with a huge amount of prepaid budget, which is the plan to hire Lance to entirely work for him. While Lance was carrying on underground work, urging the guerrillas and minorities groups to fight the Burmese army, Hope had been to negotiate for the monopoly oil concession in Burma and support arms to the SLORC Burmese army. Once he expected Lance not to succeed the mission, he then told the SLORC to send someone to get rid of Lance. He also planned to assassinate Algate, the US minister of foreign affair whom he provided secret support. The purpose of the entire plan is to gain benefits in commerce and trades. Also, for the monopoly concession in those countries that he planned to take the benefits for his own wealth without considering the outcome that may affect the others.
The work of Lance, since the contact to Khun Sa of Shan State, General Bo Mia of Karen, Suai Gen of the Liberal Mon army, the following and the spying of Leskov who is a Russian KGB, the Tan Gee’s plan to seize Lance, the planning to assassinate Algate who was a minister of foreign affair of US government, were all carried out by both the Burmese army and Enola with the secret support from Hope. The fighting and the romantic love scenes are occasionally found in this novel and they make this novel even more enjoyable to read.
The outcome of the novel follows the Buddhism believes of Mandy Ong. That is, although Hope was a millionaire, he had to live in fear. He had to stay in his confined yacht. He had to only live with his bodyguards in a lonely environment. He always feared of someone would come to kill him. This is like he has no longer live.
The groups of minorities along Thai-Burmese boarders had to live in fate. They had to fight in the civil war, to escape, and to be killed. Their houses and society were scattered because of the conflicts and Karma that they committed. Each group has their own ways of life and practices. So it is very difficult to unite the shattered community and to find a harmony.
Lance had permanently resigned from the CIA. Although he had done his best, he almost lost his life. Especially when he knew that the politics was too complicated to handle. He thought he was working for his country, but he was actually only a tool for Hope who acted on both sides. He and Algate were targeted to be cruelly killed, just for the endless greedy and passion of human.
The ending part of “Until the Karma ends” represents law of nature or Karma in the Buddhism sermon. It was the karma that incidentally happened. Lance survived to learn the nature of searching for couple. He chose love and peaceful way of life together with his wife, Ong. He changed his career to be a lecturer in the university, which was more modest life. Leskov and Natasha also settled down with a sweet marriage.
It can be said that “Until the Karma ends” is a happy ending novel, which catches Thai’s feeling and nature. More importantly, it broadly offers knowledge, both current and historical situations of Burma regarding the society of people that are minorities in Burma. Above all, the international politics are far more complicated than that we think. This novel not only provides knowledge in several aspects but also reflects the extreme experience and knowledge of the author. One who has not read this novel is strongly recommend trying it.
An old teacher
25th June 2001
Translator : Aketawan Manowongsa15 Sep 2001