The Buddhist Network for Peace of Pattani
Restoring human dignity of Buddhists in the Southern Border Provinces
Friday 4 March 2016
“Silence in the Southern Border Provinces when Buddhists become a target of violent attacks”
From 2004-2015, 12 years, according to the Deep South Watch, armed violence in the Southern Border Provinces has claimed 6,543 deaths and 11,919 injuries. 40% of the deaths and 60% of the injured are Buddhists including 19 monks who had been killed and 25 injured. Just in the first two months of 2016, a dozen of Buddhists have already been killed. Many violent incidences have also made the Buddhists become more terrified including;
- 21 February 2016, the deaths of a couple, Mr. Cha Manee-aram, 51 years, and Mrs. Noi Manee-aram, 50 years, while tapping rubber in Khok Po District, Pattani
- 27 February 2016, the death of Mr. Somsak Dussadeepiriya, 51 years, owner of Petchkasem Yang Yon, Muang District, Pattani and his car was robbed and made a car bomb which explored in Muang District, Pattani causing 11 injuries the same day
- 29 February 2016, the brutal act against children as gunshots were fired indiscriminately into a group of workers hired to harvest paddy rice in Mayo District, Pattani causing Mr. Chiraphon Srinok, 21 years from Nakhon Ratchasima to die
- 3 March2016, Mr. Chatchai Thong, 55 years, from Yaha District, Yala, who was shot dead while riding his motorbike to tap rubber tree and after the incidence, the perpetrators had poured petrol on his body and set it alight to destroy the body before running away
- 3March2016, Pol Col Ongarj Thongma, 82 years, former Superintendent of Yarang Police Station, who was shot dead and had his body set on fire for disposal in Yarang District, while he was bicycling for health on a road in Tambon Yarang, Pattani
- 3 March 2016, Mr. Suthat Kraiwan, 50 years, staff member of the Provincial Electricity Authority, Pattani, who was killed while performing his duties on a highway in Yarang District, Pattani, while in the presence of a lot of commuters since it was a main road
As a network of Buddhists in Pattani, we offer our deepest condolences to the relatives and the deceased. We wish you had ascended to heaven and that such incidence will never occur again. We therefore demand the following;
To the perpetrators who have committed such brutal crime against the innocent;
- Regardless of who you are, your acts are so heinous and inhumane and deserve to be condemned roundly by society. May you be brought to justice and may the brutal acts you had committed make you live a miserable life in a living hell. The karma will take its toll on you in whatever future life in which you will be reborn, this life and next life. Even while you are alive or while you are dead, you shall not avoid the toll from your misdeed.
- Stop this heinous crime otherwise thousands and thousands of people who feel concerned with their fellow human beings will continue to curse you for your brutal acts.
- If you acts have been committed purposefully for political gains, it should then be condemned as most inhumane. No one should imitate what you have done and you should completely stop it. Your acts will never benefit anyone. They will continue to breed more hatred, hopelessness, a lack of faith, and will never help you to win over people.
To the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) and the police
- Extra effort should be made to enhance the coordination to ensure effective investigation of such heinous crime and to bring to justice the perpetrators promptly without any exception and without giving favor to any faction.
- Concerned effort should be made to mobilize the forces of all concerned agencies and with collaboration from the community to ensure the protection of lives and properties and wellbeing of all people stringently in communities, particularly the Buddhist communities and mixed communities of Buddhists and Muslims which are most vulnerable. This will prevent the communities from being made a target of attack for political gain by any groups and to prevent any conflict and vengeance between the Buddhist and Muslim communities.
- The military and the police should perform their duties properly and with integrity and should avoid arresting wrong persons. There have been cases of wrong persons being caught, and as a result of which Buddhists, children and women, would have become a target of violence because those people want them to pay back.
- SBPAC and other civilian administrative agencies should make an effort to mentally comfort people who have been affected, particularly the Buddhists who have become a target of violence. They are a vulnerable group whose human rights and political rights are often infringed upon.
To Islamic and Buddhist leaders
- The Islamic leaders must accept that if the perpetrators are Muslims or are known to be Muslim, you have the duty to come out to demand the crackdown on them and to remind your members of the faith of the goof teaching of Islam, the religion of peace and to discourage them from harming members of other faiths and even fellow members of the same faith.
- Buddhist leaders including monks should refrain from invoking the violence against Buddhists as a pretext to spur any hatred against people of other faiths since it will simply exacerbate the situation making it too hard to control. May we hold on to using loving kindness to help nurture the painful society.
- Leaders of all religious should collaborate to address the problem with more fairness. A dialogue between religious teachers should be encouraged since it will help to contain the seriousness of the situation. You are now asked by local Buddhists to come out to demand treatment with human dignity and to ensure that the deaths, injuries and losses suffered by the Buddhists shall not be made silent anymore. We should make our voice heard to ensure our value and human dignity are respected and our civil rights restored. May all Buddhists express yourselves properly to help society to heal itself to address violence and to encourage participation in the effort to make peace and living in coexistence with other groups in society.