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18-10-05, 04:48 PM #1Jitwadee Guest
Pattani temple raid; monk murdered
PATTANI TEMPLE RAID: Killers caught us off guard: Thaksin
(Published in The Nation on Oct 17, 2005)
PM vows to track down offenders, says police have 'full support to use all means'
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and members of the National Reconcilia-tion Commission (NRC) yesterday strongly condemned the gruesome murder of a monk and two teenage temple boys but urged the public to remain calm.
Thaksin said the violence was becoming unbearable and vowed to track down the attackers and bring them to justice. "This is not the action of human beings. Even Muslim leaders cannot stand this." He said Sunday's attack was aimed at turning Buddhists against Muslims but believed that both communities understood that.
"The attack is against all religious principles," Dr Prawase Wasi, vice chairman of the NRC, said after a meeting of the commission. Forensic techniques, widely used abroad, could help capture the culprits in a transparent way, he said. The NRC also urged people to help each other to protect their communities from violence.
Thaksin admitted that more work has to be done to enable the security forces to respond more quickly to the violent attacks. He said the idea of rapid deployment units was being discussed.
The attack occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Police figures from last year showed intensified attacks on civilian and government targets, both Muslim and Buddhist, at this time compared to other months.
Thaksin said Panarae district had been relatively calm over the past two years, and the attack had caught security officials off-guard.
The authorities had his full support to use necessary means to track down the attackers and said they should have no worries about criticism from either home or abroad. When asked if he would turn to neighbouring countries to help seal the border to capture the culprits, Thaksin replied by reciting a Buddhist script that translates to "One must depend on oneself".
At the National Security Council, Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya admitted the burden was on state agencies to instil trust among the public so that they can come forward and work with the state to bring an end to the killing.
Interior Minister Kongsak Wantana suggested that village defence volunteers should be strengthened and better compensated for security work at the local level. He said each village receives only Bt20,000 per month, which has to be shares among volunteers.
Defence Minister Thammarak Isarangura said the attack on the temple was an indication that more force has to be put on suspects. He said security units have been too relaxed "because there were too many referees". Now was a good time to trim the line of command and become more aggressive.
Meanwhile, minister at the Prime Minister Office, Newin Chidchob, yesterday said he would propose to the Cabinet that 42,000 local residents be hired to work with the Southern Border Province Peace-Building Command.
Piyanart Srivalo, Supalak Ganjanakhundee
Last edited by Jitwadee; 19-10-05 at 03:43 PM.
18-10-05, 04:51 PM #2Jitwadee Guest
Thaksin: We will retaliate
Published by the Bangkok Post
The attack on a Buddhist temple and murder of a monk and two temple boys has pushed the government's patience to the limit and there are scores to be settled with the insurgents, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday. The security forces had been too laid-back and would have to shape up.
A review of tactics used against the insurgents was being finalised and a new phase of suppression would begin before the end of this month.
The killings at Wat Phromprasit were more than anyone could bear. Until Sunday, Buddhist monasteries, being places of reverence, had been off limits to insurgent attacks.
Buddhist monks had been murdered by militants before, mostly when they were collecting morning alms. Those killings had not been inside temples.
Sunday's raid was obviously a calculated act to turn Buddhists against Muslims.
``These murders were carried out by non-humans. They deserve the swiftest punishment,'' he said.
``Religion is too sacred for these low life to use to excuse (their senseless activities). We will definitely retaliate.''
Bangkok would not seek cooperation from Kuala Lumpur in preventing passage of militants fleeing to Malaysia. ``It's best to rely on oneself,'' he said.
YUWADEE TUNYASIRI, Bangkok Post
Last edited by Jitwadee; 19-10-05 at 03:44 PM.
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