‘The Sad Story of Khru Juling’

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.

22 responses to “‘The Sad Story of Khru Juling’

  1. Jeannie Rivera

    To Jenna: In response to your question re: what could have caused the women to behave this way?

    My question to you–what does it matter? What ever happened is no excuse to what they did. It is difficult to argue w/ another blogger who basically states that where there are Muslims along side another religion, there is murder and other atrocities. Connect the dots and open your eyes.

  2. Dear Steve, a very nice and touching blog depicting the selfless, kind-hearted khru juling. I too pray that she will recover soon, the female villagers should be condemned for such atrocities
    Thank you for such a touching blog, reminding us of the selfless, and those who have been badly treated in the south. Pray for Peace

  3. “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” Steven Weinberg

    I am losing faith in faith.

  4. Its crazy that people behaved so! This is something really really wrong – an entire set of people ready to hurt one helpless person like this. I really like to hear them speak their mind, if they have any, for its so hard to understad what makes them sway so?

  5. Ah Mi Duo Fuo(ah mithabha_…shall say a prayer for her…haiz…i have seen many thai muslims who love their buddhist countrymen when will that small minority learn to do so?

  6. I pray for her too and all teachers in south of Thailand. The Queen of Thailand send much money to take care of Khru Juling and family she care for her very much.

  7. Roland Pettersson

    Where it is muslims it is atrocities. This is a sickening evil true story of what is happening today in the world. I am happy that I’m not living in the southern provinces of Thailand or in Israel.

  8. depressing story to read on a morning……..

  9. I was aware of this awful and sickening attack from the newspapers, but thanks, Steve, for giving more detail.I wonder what her pupils think about what has happened to their teacher.

  10. khunlungphudhu

    I find all violence abhorent, and it is the inocent that suffer while the perpetrators revel in even more violence.
    The trouble is,if ALL those involved in this disturbing attack were rounded up and imprisoned, the real perpetrator, the one that stired up the hatred among these women in the first place, would not be among them, having departed well before the event, having sown the seeds of more misery.
    My prayers, along with those of so many others, are with this young lady of courage and compassion.

  11. oh the humanity.

    the mob mentality brings out the worst in people.

  12. thanks for the story Steve. There are a lot of gutter scum in the world.

  13. Steve Suphan

    Thanks for your comments. I’m not one for writing too many serious blogs but it’s nice being able to try out something different.

    I’m not sure how many were arrested as a direct cause of the near-fatal beating but i think it is nine. Not including scores of villagers who are on the less serious charge of ‘giving their hand of support’

    Just last week there was another story, again from Narathiwat, of another teacher who was shot and killed and point-blank range while actually in the classroom.

  14. Thanks Steve for making her story more well known. It was only in the papers today that her mother has been declared Mother of the Year. Obviously it won’t help to ease her pain, but it does show how much the nation is standing behind her.

    The murder of the teacher in the classroom last week was the worse yet. He was gunned down in front of his young students. He was still holding a piece of chalk when the security forces arrived on the scene. Senseless killings.

  15. its an abhorrent indictment on thai society that in the year of 2006 innocent children arent safe in thier own classrooms and teachers arent safe infront of the chalk board.

    Teachers r considered one of the pillars of a thai community and when one of these pillars is continually knocked down like this then wat is left to said about what the word “community” actually means anymore.

    I hope that teachers dont give up on teaching in the south because if all teachers abandon the south then more and more generations of essentially thai kids will grow up ignorant , undeducated and full of hatred like those that harm teachers. We need to break the cycle of violence through education and understanding.

  16. This story really upsets me….

    The most surprising thing is that this was a group of women. You often hear about men being the victimizers in war, not men.

    I wonder what happened to the group of women to snap like that they did and almost kill a person.

    I know the situation in Southern Thailand is very serious. On Buddhist Connect (http://www.BuddhistConnect.com ), I read that there was relative peace for over 20 years between Muslims and Buddhists but about a couple years ago militant Muslims started to rebel. Hopefully, all of this fighting will stop and things will go back to the way there used to be and Khru Juling’ can recover and put this behind her.

  17. I pray for Khru Juling speedy recovery.

    I have wrote previously on the SOuthern Thailand violence, and I am deeply troubled with the ongoings there!

    I really dont know what’s the solution, but I just hope peace would come soon to these three Southern provinces!

  18. Steve Suphan

    Further to what Richard wrote. Khru Juling’s mother was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Mother of the Year’ on national Mother’s Day yesterday.
    There were some coverage on the TV of Juling’s mother visiting her daughter which were really touching if not disturbing.

  19. I think its time to stop all the religion stuff,if u want to believ in anything do it at home,and stop bothering other people or even kill them for another believe,i dont want to blame muslim only christians are not much better,still remember ,i learned in school how many south american indians got killed by spanish catholics,but,if u read the coran u will notice how superior it describes itself,calling other religions as dirty,we live in dangerous times,i think in times of Al quaeda,and american forces are allover fighting against muslims,this will all end up in a war of religions

  20. As for Michael; Kroo Juling had nothing to do with religion, she went to teach in the south as a teacher. She was not involved in politics.

    The Buddhists in the south, how can you compare they to the catholics in South america/
    i am also dispointed that Michael can think about comparing the south and Al Queda.

    buddhists in the south of thailand never kill the muslims= i hope one day the foreigners will understand this and stop comparing the war in southern to Iraq.

    Middle East had leaders as like Saddham, he started the problems there. Thailand southern people only got the influence from fundamentists luch as malaysians, and sponsers of terrorists.

    Dec 5 . Rao Rak Nai Luang.

    Stop comparing the south of Thailand to Iraq and Afghanistan.

  21. Sad addemendum to Steve’s tale: Khru Juling passed away today in hospital.

  22. Steve Suphan

    I too, have just found out that Khru Juling passed away today.
    May she find peace.