Mourners pray at Thai temple filled with children’s memorabilia

Uthai Sawan – A grief-stricken family walks Saturday morning at a Buddhist temple filled with photos of a smiling toddler killed while napping on children’s mementos, flowers and blankets at a day care center in northeastern Thailand. I prayed.

Twenty-four of the 36 people who died were children, mostly preschoolers. enshrined in one temple.

Some mourners stayed overnight at Wat Lat Samakhi in the tradition of keeping company with those who died young.

Pensiri Tana, the aunt of one of the victims, said, “All relatives are here to pay tribute to those who died,” referring to important Buddhist practices. She was among those who spent the night in the temple. She said, “It’s our tradition to hang out with our children. We believe we should be with them so they don’t feel lonely.”

The massacre left no one untouched in the small town, but community officials realized that helping others helped ease their own grief, at least temporarily.

“At first, we all felt so bad that we couldn’t accept this. We are running around, taking care of people and providing moral support,” said Somnuk Thongtarai, a local district official.

Mourning ceremonies last three days before the royally-sponsored funeral and culminate in the cremation of the body according to Buddhist tradition.

A clear motive is Thailand’s the worst genocide A perpetrator left a day care center on Thursday and killed his wife and son at home before committing suicide.

Late on Friday, King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida visited a hospital where seven people injured in the attack were being treated. The monarch said it was to meet with the victims’ families and boost their morale.

“It’s a tragedy that this evil thing happened,” the king told reporters in a rare public appearance. “But now we have to think about what we can do to maximize and improve ourselves.”

Outside the Uthai Sawan Early Childhood Development Center, bouquets of white roses and carnations lined the exterior walls, along with five small juice boxes, bags of corn chips, and stuffed animals.

At Wat Lat Samakhee, the grounds were packed with mourners and those looking to lend them support.

“That was too much. I cannot accept this.

Her 4-year-old grandson Tawachai Srip was killed. Three generations of a rice farmer’s family live under his one roof.

Police identified the perpetrator as Panya Kamrap, 34, a former sergeant who was fired earlier this year on drug charges, including methamphetamine. A daycare employee told Thai media that Pangya’s son had been attending daycare, but he hadn’t been there for about a month.

Mass shootings are rare, but not unheard of in Thailand, which has the highest civilian gun ownership rate in Asia, with 15.1 guns per 100 people. That’s far lower than her rate of 120.5 per 100 in the United States, according to a 2017 study by Australian nonprofit GunPolicy.org.

Thai’s worst mass murder ever In 2020, disgruntled soldiers opened fire in and around a shopping mall in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima, killing 29 people and killing them after they held off security forces for about 16 hours. .

The worst previous attack on civilians was 2015 bombing At a shrine in Bangkok that killed 20 people. This was allegedly carried out by traffickers in retaliation for cracking down on the network.


Associated Press writer Chalida Ekvitthayavechnukul and Bangkok’s Grant Peck contributed to this report.


See more AP Asia Pacific coverage https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/10/08/mourners-pray-at-thai-temple-filled-by-childrens-keepsakes/ Mourners pray at Thai temple filled with children’s memorabilia

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