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HM The King offers condolences, grants royal patronage of funerals

The Thaiger

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HM The King offers condolences, grants royal patronage of funerals | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PM Prayut passing on The King's messages on TV this morning - The Nation
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“The government is profoundly saddened by the mass shooting and would like to extend its moral support to all Thais and the people of Korat.”

This morning the Thai PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha made a statement across the Thai television pool.

He passed on a message from His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Her Majesty Queen Suthida who expressed their deep condolences regarding the tragedy that happened in Korat on Saturday.

He said that Their Majesties would like to give moral support to families of victims and all related officials.

HM The King has also ordered that the funerals of all the deceased will be covered under his royal patronage, including Buddhist prayers chanted at the funeral and royal cremation ceremonies commemorated as special occasions.

“Furthermore, the King has ordered privy councilors and senior officials from the Bureau of the Royal Household and Royal Security Command to act on his behalf in visiting the injured persons and the families of victims.”

“He has also ordered the establishment of a royal kitchen to provide food and support to officials who are working in forensics and cleaning the venue (Terminal 21 shopping centre) until the operation is complete.”

Lastly, the King has suggested that the government provide assistance to the affected people and officials in any way that it can, as soon as possible.

The Facebook page of the secretariat of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch, has announced that they have passed on items valued at 10,000 baht for each of the victims’ families. Meanwhile, the director-general of the Comptroller-General’s Department, Poomsak Aranyakasemsuk, says the agency is contacting victims’ relatives so they can receive the full compensations they are entitled to.

And Advanced Info Service (AIS), the Thai telecommunications company, has given 1 million baht which will be offered to victims through the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial governor and has offered scholarships to support the education of the deceased victims’ children up to bachelor degree level.

The Bangkok Post also reports that Krungthai Bank and Government Savings Banks have written off debts owed by soldiers and police officers who were killed during the tragedy, and given up to 200,000 baht to each of the dead victims’ families.

Government ministers and officials are all wearing black today “as a sign of respect and solidarity”.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | The Nation

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North East

Prayut visits Korat, offers compensation to shooting victims, families

Greeley Pulitzer

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Prayut visits Korat, offers compensation to shooting victims, families | The Thaiger
PHOTO: PM Prayut Chan-o-cha prays for peace at the Thao Suranaree Monument in Nakhon Ratchasima - The Nation

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha went to Korat, in the northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province, scene of the shooting rampage earlier this month that left 30 dead and 58 wounded. He met with people and families affected by the massacre and offered compensation totalling tens of millions of baht. He and accompanying ministers met locals after praying for peace at the Thao Suranaree Monument, a memorial to a Thai heroine.

Prayut distributed financial aid and amulets at Nakhon Ratchasima City Hall to the injured, and to the families of those who died. The compensation from the Victims of Disaster Fund totalled 34.8 million baht.

The families of 24 out of 27 of the dead received one million baht each. Nineteen of 21 who suffered serious injury received 200,000 baht each,and 32 out of 36 people who suffered lesser injuries got 100,000 baht.

Prayut visits Korat, offers compensation to shooting victims, families | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The PM offers compensation to victims – The Nation

There is also compensation under the Victim Compensation Act. The Nakhon Ratchasima provincial office is investigating damages to determine compensation for property damaged in the incident.

The PM later travelled to the Korat Terminal 21 mall, the scene of much of the slaughter, to inspect the place and boost the morale of shop operators and the public.

Prayut visits Korat, offers compensation to shooting victims, families | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: PM Prayut thanks rescuers – The Nation

SOURCE: The Nation

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A week after Korat massacre, questions remain

Greeley Pulitzer

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A week after Korat massacre, questions remain | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Mourners offer prayers at the reopening of the Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall - Terminal 21's Facebook page

A week after a rogue soldier went on a shooting spree, killing 29 and injuring 58, no one seems willing to take responsibility for the Army’s lack of security, which allowed the man to raid an armoury, steal weapons of war and kill and maim innocent civilians, Thailand Today reports.

The massacre has prompted many, from all walks of life, to call for army reform; for analysis to identify the causes of the horrifying incident and prevent it happening again; for the resignation of PM and Defence Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and army chief Apirat Kongsompong; and for a truly transparent investigation (with neutral party participation).

A professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Political Science told Thai online media outlet The Standard that the army must take responsibility. If the army and the government don’t handle the situation correctly, he warned, it could turn into a political hot-button issue driven by social media, which the defence minister, army chief, and others would find difficult to manage and might damage their careers.

“This tragedy requires the acceptance of responsibility, not just sending representatives to lay wreaths at funerals or presenting compensation money to the relatives of the victims.”

“We’re calling for the army to cleanse its forces of dirt. Society is today giving the defence minister and army chief an opportunity, so they should not shy away from taking responsibility. Even if society is silent and not making any demands right now, one day this issue will spill onto the streets.”

A week after Korat massacre, questions remain | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: – https://twitter.com/armypr_news

In a press conference on Tuesday, reporters asked army chief Apirat whether he would resign to assume responsibility for the shooting. He replied that he wouldn’t resign over an individual’s wrongdoing.

“The shooter might have been an officer of the armed forces but what he did was certainly not an army mission, and he was driven by personal reasons. I have responsibility for the missions I command and have displayed responsibility in every position I’ve held and all the crises I’ve been through, from the beginning until now, when I am not far away from retirement.”

A week after Korat massacre, questions remain | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Terminal 21 Korat shopping mall’s Facebook page

“The moment that he fired at innocent people, he became a criminal, not a soldier anymore,” Apirat told the press as he tearfully apologised. He admitted some army units were lax in guarding weapons and ammunition and this posed a risk that armouries could be robbed. He also says he has set about to clean up the businesses that operate from within the military infrastructure.

SOURCE: Thailand Today

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Thousands gather for merit-making ceremony in Korat

The Thaiger

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Thousands gather for merit-making ceremony in Korat | The Thaiger

Tens of thousands of mostly residents of Nakhon Ratchasima attended a Buddhist merit making ceremony in Korat today to pay tribute to the late King Narai the Great, founder and heroine of the north eastern province, Thao Suranaree, during the early days of the Chakri Dynasty, and to remember the victims of the mass shooting last Saturday.

The gunman was eventually cornered and shot at 9am last Sunday morning.

10,000 monks attended the ceremony, from temples around Nakhon Ratchasima and neighbouring provinces Chaiyaphum, Buri Ram and Surin. They chanted prayers to bless the province and received alms from residents.

The alms presentation to the 10,000 monks was the second such ‘cleansing’ event of its kind, and was jointly organised by the local officials and the private sector to “instil a sense of unity and belonging among the residents of the province” following the horrific events on the Buddhist Makha Bucha day.

Meanwhile, this week the Terminal 21 mall also held a merit-making ceremony before reopening its doors on Thursday to provide moral support to shop operators, shoppers and local residents. Buddhist monks again chanted prayers to bring good luck for the city and the shopping mall. Over 200 monks received alms on the ground floor of the mall, in the Eiffel Square. The event was attended by government officials and a large number of locals who were still coming to terms with the violence.

Free food and drinks were offered to participants by the royally-sponsored makeshift kitchen and food shop operators. Students from Nakhonratchasima Technical College help staff some of the communal activities.

Many shops offered 50% discounts in a sign of good will and to try and attract customers back to the mall when it re-opened on the Thursday afternoon. The Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichian Chantharanothai led officials and local residents to worship ay the Thao Suranaree monument to ward off bad spirits.

Thousands gather for merit-making ceremony in Korat | News by The Thaiger

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