Pattani monks halt alms rounds

Bangkok Post, March 8, 2011

Pattani, Thailand -- The Sangha Council of Pattani province has decided that Buddhist monks in three high-risk districts should stop making their morning alms collection for one month, following the slaying of a monk and wounding of two others in Khok Pho district early this month.

Thirachit Bovornnanthiwat, chief of the Buddhism Office of Pattani, said the three districts are Yarang, Panare and Khok Pho. There are 94 Buddhist wats in 12 districts of Pattani.

During the month the provincial Buddhism office will give the monks who cannot leave their temples to collect 100 baht each a day, he said.

On March 5, a monk from Wat Sri Mahapho in Khon Pho district was murdered and two others seriously wounded when attacked by gunmen during morning alms.

Mr Thirachit said the provincial Sangkha Council would also ask for more police and soldiers to provide protection for monks on their morning rounds.