Seldom does a day go by when we don’t read a story of an atrocity in the deep south. There are many tearful stories which have evolved, but perhaps the one which stands out most, is ‘The Story of Khru Juling’.
Khru (teacher) Juling 24, was born in the northern province of Chiang Rai. Even though her family was very poor, with the financial assistance of family and friends who were amazed by her art talent – she graduated with honours. Working as a teacher, Khru Juling could simply have stayed put in her home province and found a simple cozy school job. Selflessly however, she applied for the position of art teacher in the deep southern war-torn province of Narithiwat.
Feeling heartfelt pity on the Muslim children who grew up without a teacher to teach them, she put her life at risk to help the little ones whom she loved so much. Even though there were daily shootings and bomb-blasts, for one whole year Khru Juling, against the desires of those who cared for her, persisted on teaching at her school . For Khru Juling, a beautiful young teacher from the north, who published a book of her sketches for one of the Princess’ childrens charities – just who would ever think of doing her any harm?
On a regretful Friday – May 19, of this year, local women villagers, angry at the detention of Muslim Militants on a completely different charge, surrounded her school and ordered all the teachers of Buddhist religion to come out. Even though the school children screamed at the top of their voices to let go of their beloved teachers, the local women simply took them away.
What happened next in the presence of others is almost humanely unthinkable. Held hostage for three hours – Khru Juling singled out most, was bashed so badly by local villagers that she remains until this day….. in a coma, with severe brain injuries.
What is most sickening of all, is that after the police forced their way in to arrest the culprits – the local female villagers threatened to attack them (the police) with knives, rocks and bricks. The hundred or so women involved in the abduction and beatings of the teachers showed absolutely no remorse for what they had done.
HM The Queen, also very upset by this tragedy, has asked that she is updated daily on the conditions of Khru Juling who is still in intensive care at The Prince of Songkhla Hospital in Hat Yai.
Pitiful Khru Juling hangs on for life amidst the hope of every Thai person. Let us all wish that we never again have to hear of such a despicable tragedy.