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Victims of southern violence demand equal assistance as political victims

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BANGKOK, 25 January 2012 (NNT) – Victims of the Thailand’s southern insurgency are calling for the government to compensate them at the same rate as that given to families of people who died in political rallies.

Chairman of the senate committee on southern problems Mr. Anusart Suwanmongkol recently held a press conference to urge the government to set up a framework on how to assist the victims of southern unrest. He requested that the government grant 7.5 million baht to each person affected by the insurgency, equivalent to the amount paid to families of people killed by political violence which received a green light from the Cabinet on January 10.

Mr. Anusart said unequal treatment of the residents of the Deep South could be deemed as an insult to them, especially those who bore the brunt of the insurgent attacks, families of the dead, civil servants and other officials living in the dangerous zone.

Mr. Seksan Kasemsuk, a victim of the southern unrest, said he lost his parents to an attack three years ago and has received only 200,000 baht for his father’s death and another 100,000 baht for his mother’s. Mr. Seksan added that he has never received any attention from the government following the tragedy.

President of the Southern Teacher Association Mr. Boonsom Thongsriprai is reportedly upset with the government’s generous move to assist political victims, whereas 148 teachers in the South have lost their lives since 2004 without any similar assistance given.

Read more: NNT

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