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Two monks slain in latest southern attack

NARATHIWAT: The government and National Office of Buddhism (NOB) are laying out safety measures to protect monks in the southern border provinces after a fatal attack at a temple in Narathiwat that killed two monks and injured two others.

murderviolencepolitics
By Bangkok Post

Monday 21 January 2019, 09:38AM


Buddhist monks receiving alms in Narathiwat province in August 2018. Photo: AFP

Buddhist monks receiving alms in Narathiwat province in August 2018. Photo: AFP

PM’s Office Minister Suwaphan Tanyuvardhana said after an urgent meeting with the NOB on Sunday that short- and long-term measures are needed for the safety of monks and temples in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala to help them continue their religious duty.

The NOB and security agencies in the three provinces and four districts of Songkhla will work closely to formulate better plans to prevent monks and temples from being targeted by insurgents.

The meeting was held after about 10 armed men sprayed bullets at the cubicles of Wat Rattananuparb in Sungai Padi district of Narathiwat on Friday night (Jan 18), killing temple abbot Phra Khru Prachote Rattananurak and his assistant, Phra Samuh Atthaporn Khun-amphai. Phra Prawate Sookkaew and Phra Tanachote Chumlert were injured but are now out of danger. The late abbot was the district chief monk in Sungai Padi.

The attack by the men wearing military-style black clothing was one of the most horrifying assaults on southern monks in the Muslim-dominated areas.

Mr Suwaphan said the NOB will disperse additional funds to temples in the region to promote religious activities.

NOB director Pongporn Phramsane, who attended the meeting on Sunday, will forward the decision to the Sangha Supreme Council today for advice.

The religious ceremony for the two late monks at Wat Rattananuparb, better known by locals as Wat Khok Ko, is under the sponsorship of the Supreme Patriarch, who is also taking care of the two injured monks. They were transferred from Sungai Padi Hospital to receive medical treatment at  Sungai Kolok Hospital.

All monks in the restive region are allowed to decide whether to continue collecting alms from worshippers. Most temples have continued the practice since the attack, but some decided to allow people to offer food at the temples instead.

Representatives of the Chularatchamontree visited the two injured monks at the hospital in Sungai Kolok district on Sunday to boost their morale. Surin Palare, the secretary to the Islamic Council of Thailand, said the top Muslim leader was deeply concerned by the attack, fearing it could escalate tensions between Buddhists and Muslims. The attackers were trying to drag the religion into the conflict, he added.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a statement highlighting that ‘Despite a peace dialogue between the Thai government and separatist groups under the umbrella of Majlis Syura Patani (Mara Patani), BRN insurgents have not ceased attacks on civilian targets.’

 

‘Thai government security forces and militias have also committed numerous violations of the laws of war and international human rights law against Malay Muslim civilians and suspected BRN members, Human Rights Watch said. Extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and torture cannot be justified as reprisals for insurgent attacks.’

Read full story here.

 

 

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Pascale | 23 January 2019 - 15:48:25

"Can't compare terrorism by Thai against Thai in 3 provinces.." It's not only Thai against Thai. Many fighters are from Malaysia.And probably most other people who fight there don't think that they are Thai's, which by the way they are truly not.Negotiations would be good,but some of the Islamistic hardliner groups are not interested in it.

Kurt | 23 January 2019 - 09:39:50

Can't compare terrorism by thai against thai in 3 thai provinces ( ok P., longer than 7 years already), with that of IS, Boko Haram, Al Q or that sort of organisations. As history shows, it always ends with talks/negotiations. By the way, what other tasks has 'Defence'  this very moment on her shoulders ? A referendum lightens present sentiments/wishes of people.

Rorri_2 | 23 January 2019 - 05:16:33

Gerry, just recently the Philippines is contemplating exacting what Kurt has mentioned. "Philippines holds autonomy referendum in restive Mindanao." Perhaps you, like a few of your bedmates, could do with a bit of research before whinging about others.
Pascale, where did you get this "7000?"

DeKaaskopp | 22 January 2019 - 20:29:51

The government should send K. as a negotiator to the deep south. I bet all those terrorist will lay down their weapons immediately.

Pascale | 22 January 2019 - 16:34:29

OMG! So much nonsense and falsehoods in 2 comments only. First the conflict goes on for much longer then 7 years and there didn't die 7000 people in the last 7 years! Moving the HQ to the south.You think that departments only job is to take care that conflict? A referendum? If the people vote against independence,will the terrorist stop? Dream on! You have no idea,better stop writing.

GerryT81 | 22 January 2019 - 15:13:16

Yes K,your brilliant ideas will solve that problem.Please, next advise all other countries in the world who fight terrorist's like IS,Boko Haram ,Al Qaida or any other terrorist organisation.Let all countries at war have a referendum.Sure everyone will except the outcome. By the end of the year there will be peace everywhere.

Kurt | 22 January 2019 - 11:41:26

Perhaps a referendum among the people in the 3 southern provinces gives more light on what people there want. That is more important than thinking in BKK that already 7 yrs not fix things. Another matter is that now not much chance on a Kra Canal digging as long the war goes on. Actually a Kra Canal could feed the population's thinking in the south to make it a new border.

Kurt | 22 January 2019 - 10:54:50

...NOB and security forces will work more closely to 'formulate' better plans. What have they formulated and done the last 7 years?  Is it not time the thai Minister of Defence Prawit moves his headquarters more close to the front in the south, and coordinate the war against terrorist more locally? Doing it from BKK seems not to work over the years.

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