Hundreds of Thai schools shut over militant attacks
More News from Agence France-Presse
BANGKOK, Thailand—Teachers in insurgency-wracked southern Thailand decided Monday to suspend classes at hundreds of schools in the region over the killings of education workers by Muslim militants.
“We want to put pressure on security forces and the government to take greater care of our safety,” Boonsom Thongsriplai, chairman of the teachers association in the region, told AFP.
A female school principal was killed last Thursday in Pattani’s Nongchik district, the latest of scores of teachers targeted by the insurgents.
The move means 321 schools will temporarily shut from Tuesday in Pattani, one of several southernmost provinces plagued by an eight-year-old insurgency. It is unclear when they will reopen.
The unrest has claimed more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near-daily bomb or gun attacks.
Teachers working in non-religious schools are frequently targeted because they are seen as a symbol of government authority. Militants view the school system as an effort by Bangkok to impose Buddhist culture on the south.
More than 150 education workers have been killed in the Thai south since 2004. The latest victim was a head teacher who was gunned down last week.
Critics accuse the government of failing to address the grievances of Thailand’s Malay Muslim minority, including alleged abuses by the military and a perceived lack of respect for their ethnic identity, language and religion.—With AP
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94