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Thailand massacre victims cremated, families say goodbye

Uthai Sawang Hundreds of mourners and families of victims gathered on Tuesday night for makeshift cremation ceremonies for young children and others who died in last week’s genocide at a day care center in rural northeast Thailand. I saw flames burn from the rows of firewood.

The family says their final goodbyes at a Buddhist temple a short distance from the Child Development Center in the town of Utaisawan. interrupted last thursday They shot and stabbed children and their guardians.

Chief Sergeant Panya Kamlap eventually killed 36 people, 24 of them are children in a small farming village before taking his own life. It was the largest mass murder by an individual in Thai history.

Joint ceremonies for most of the victims are held at three temples, and families have to wait a long time for successive cremations to be completed, said Phra Kuru Ajsal Kijanuwat, abbot of Rat Samakhi Temple. I was spared.

Ceremonies for 19 dead people, including 18 children, were performed at his temple. With a large crowd watching, the monks slowly walked out of the temple hall, followed by grieving relatives. Each family was led by one of his monks, with a policeman carrying the coffin behind him.

After the coffins were placed in each of the small brick-enclosed crematoriums, the victims’ relatives stepped forward into the darkening sky and placed portraits of their loved ones on top. I put my toys next to me.

A large mesh barrier was erected to separate onlookers from relatives, monks, and royal officials tasked with lighting the fire. Officials urged the family to remove the portrait and toys and move a few meters away from the coffin, which was kneeling on the mat.

As the officials and monks began to light the firewood one by one, Buddhist chants played from a speaker system set up behind the relatives. The coffins were quickly engulfed in flames, sometimes set on fire by officials adding gasoline.

“Each one of them saw the cremation with their hearts in a state of conscious awareness,” said the abbot. It eased my sorrow.”

On Tuesday morning, many of the young victims’ bodies were dressed as doctors, soldiers, or astronauts before being cremated in the evening.

“The more I talked[with the families]the more I realized that these kids also had dreams of becoming doctors, soldiers, astronauts, police officers,” said the volunteer rescue worker who arranged the costumes. Ataris Muangmankan said.

Phetchalun Surifilom, 73, was one of many local residents who visited the temple to offer their condolences to his family and make a small donation to help with the funeral expenses. This is a common practice in Thailand.

“We just want to help our friends and share our thoughts with them,” Petcharung said. “We are not talking about money or anything, we share the same human thoughts and feelings.”

Thai media reported that the body of the assailant was cremated in a neighboring province on Saturday after a temple in Utaisawan refused to host his funeral.

Mass shootings are rare, but Thailand has one of the highest gun ownership rates in Asia, with 15.1 guns per 100 people, compared with just 0.3 in Singapore and 0.25 in Japan. ing. That’s much lower than her rate of 120.5 per 100 in the United States, according to a 2017 study by Australian nonprofit GunPolicy.org.

Thailand’s worst previous massacre came in 2020 when disgruntled soldiers opened fire in and around a mall in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, killing 29 people after holding off security forces for about 16 hours. was finally murdered.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.ksat.com/news/world/2022/10/11/thai-day-care-massacre-victims-prepared-for-funeral-rites/ Thailand massacre victims cremated, families say goodbye

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