Pattani classes to resume, fire at school
- Published: 29/11/2012 at 04:19 PM
- Online news:
Pattani: State-run schools in this southern province will reopen next week after teachers said they were satisfied with assurance from authorities about their safety.
The decision was reached in talks between the Confederation of Teachers in the Southern Border Provinces and key government officials at the cremation ceremony of Nanthana Kaewchan, a director of Ban Tha Kam Sam School in Nong Chik district.
They included southern army commander Lt Gen Udomchai Thammasarorat, Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanich, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, and Pattani Governor Pramuk Lamun.
Boonsom Tongsriprai, the confederation chairman, said after the meeting that the teacher representatives were satisfied with the pledge from the authorities to better protect them and also agreed to their demand for more welfare benefits for teachers working in the restive region.
The governor said more security officials and volunteers will be mobilised to secure routes for teachers.
The confederation did not say when the schools will reopen but the governor said all classes in Pattani will resume on Monday.
The confederation decided to close all 332 schools in the province after Nanthana was gunned down on Nov 22. She was the 155th teacher killed by militants after violence returned to the region in 2004.
In Panare district on Thursday morning, a building at Bang Maruat School was burned down.
Destroyed in the blaze were 20 computers and teaching and administrative records -- and 80 brand new tablet computers which arrived at the school only about a month ago and had not been used.
A building of Bang Maruat School in Pattani province was burned down on Thursday. (Photo by Pares Lohasan)
The building contained eight classrooms, a computer room and an administration office.
A team of forensic police led by Pol Col Manit Yimsai, the Panare police chief, went to the school to examine the scene.
Muhamad Jeloh, the school director, said the fire broke out at about 1am while he and other teachers were staying in another building.
Mr Muhamad said the fire spread quickly and burned down the building.
The school was closed earlier this week by a resolution by teachers from the confederation.
Police are investigating the cause of the fire.
In Yarang district, Rosali Kuna, 55, deputy chairman of the Tambon Prachan Administration Organisation, was shot dead on Wednesday night.
Pol Col Tuandir Juthanant, the Yarang police chief, said the attacked occurred about 8.10pm when Rosali was travelling on a motorcycle from a mosque near his house to a tea shop.
About 50 metres from the tea shop, a man who followed him on another motorcycle opened fire at him with a pistol.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
One shot hit Rosali in the head, killing him instantly.
Police are investigating the incident.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday that the continuing insurgency in the deep South has affected national stability.
She signed an order assigning Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat to be in charge of security affairs and the South situation.
ACM Sukumpol said his new assignment came after a change of officials in this field of work.
As for the security of teachers in the three southern border provinces, the defence minister said that the chances for security problems to occur would be minimised if teachers followed instructions given by the authorities and did not put themselves at risk by travelling outside of designated routes.
ACM Sukumpol said violent incidents in the South happened in only 15% of the entire area and there were only about 3,000 villages with problems.
"I want the media stop reporting the situation in the South for about one month, like the way they did in Ireland. I believe this would help a lot," he said.
More than 5,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 hurt in over 11,000 incidents, about 3.5 a day, in the three southern border provinces and four districts of Songkhla since violence erupted afresh in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the regional violence.
About the author
Writer: Pares Lohasan and Abdulloh Benjakat