Thai compensation for slain Muslims

The Thai government has approved a $728,000 (28.4 million baht) compensation for the families of 85 Muslims who died after authorities brutally broke up a protest in the south in October 2004.

    Families of those who died in the 2004 riots will be compensated

    "The families of the 85 who died and seven missing will receive 300,000 baht each, while 11 injured will receive 80,000 baht compensation," Danuphorn Punakanta, deputy government spokesman told a press conference.

    About 85 Muslim protesters died at Tak Bai in Narathiwat province after security forces broke up a riot, piled almost 1300 people onto trucks and kept them there for nearly six hours. Most victims died through suffocation and some broke their necks.

    They were demanding the release of six men arrested for allegedly giving guns to Muslim rebels.

    Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in October said a public holiday meant there were too few trucks to hold the 1298 people arrested, and those arrested could not breathe or drink water.

    Heavy-handed government

    Thaksin's government has faced widespread criticism for its heavy-handed response to the Islamic uprising in the mostly-Muslim southern provinces, although a series of peace efforts were being launched this week.

    There have been near-daily attacks in the south of the mainly Buddhist nation.

    Thaksin's government has been 
    criticised for its tough approach  

    The most recent came on Sunday when at least 15 railway workers and security forces were injured in two bomb blasts and an hour-long gun battle at the Sungai Padi railway station in Narathiwat.

    The bombs exploded one day after a Buddhist worker was shot dead and two other people including a state railway worker were injured in two attacks in Narathiwat and neighbouring Yala province.

    "Outreach, understanding"

    Thaksin on Tuesday instructed Interior Minister General Chidchai Vanasathidya and Defence Minister General Thammarak Issarangkura Na Ayutthaya to turn their focus to "outreach, understanding, and development".

    The cabinet decreed 10 April as national religious reconciliation day in order to reduce tensions.

    Muslims comprise 4% of Thailand's almost 64 million people and most live in southern provinces bordering Malaysia.

    More than 630 people have been killed in the south since an Muslim uprising began in January 2004.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Who benefits from Pakistan's loss of US aid?

    Aid and tirade in Pakistan: The back story

    Trump's decision to cut off aid has benefited other players on Pakistan's political scene.