Monday, 19 September 2011

Fearful Buddhists Protected by Armed Guards

PATTANI, September 20, 2011

With its barbed wire, sandbag bunker and armed guard, Wat Lak Muang in Thailand's strife-torn deep south looks more like a military outpost than a typical Buddhist temple.
Since a deadly insurgency erupted in the Muslim-dominated region seven years ago, the army has become inseparable from religious rituals in the region, where troops live side-by-side with monks in monasteries.
At Wat Lak Muang, a few kilometres from the centre of the city of Pattani, soldiers armed to the teeth return from patrol in pick-up trucks from time to time, while monks in saffron robes busy themselves around a fire inside.

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