Muslim leaders question Buddhist park plan in Pattani

Muslim leaders question Buddhist park plan in Pattani

PATTANI -- Religious leaders of the three Muslim-dominated southern border provinces have voiced opposition to a project by the Pattani provincial authority to build a Buddhist park, or Buddha Monthon, and called for it to be reviewed.

Waedueramae Mamingji, chairman of the Pattani Islamic Committee and chairman of the Network of the Islamic Committees of the Three Southern Border Provinces, on Sunday urged the provincial authority to reconsider the project.

He said a public hearing to compile opinions of the local people on the plan, of which the highlight is the construction of a large Buddha image, had not been held.

Problems might follow if the province went ahead with the project without listening to the opinions of the locals.

Construction of a Buddha image in areas largely dominated by Muslims was not acceptable to the local people, he said.

Muslim religious leaders in various localities had made organised a meeting in Yala to discuss the matter and this could lead to a demonstration against the project.

According to the province's plan, the Buddhist park or Buddha Monthon would be build at Pak Ao in Moo 6 village in tambon Rusamilae of Pattani's Muang district.

Mr Waedueramae said there are already several Buddhist monks in tambon Rusamilae and the local Muslim people had never opposed them. But the constuction of a Buddhist park with a large Buddha image would not be acceptable to them, he added.

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