Erawan Shrine: One Day Later – Mental illness and politicians
According to AP, Thai police are investigating to determine whether Thanakorn Pakdeepol, aged 27 years old, who used a hammer to destroy the statue of Brahma, had links to extreme Muslim groups. Did he act alone or did someone put him up to the act of vandalism, which cost him his life?
The Bangkok Post covered the story of the visit to the shrine by Caretaker Prime Thaksin Shinawatra and Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin. It did provide a good photo op for both politicians.
The Than Tao Mahaprom Foundation will pay the estimated cost of Baht 20M to have the Fine Arts Department create a replacement statue, which will incorporate shattered fragments from the destroyed original statue. The plan is to have the new statue in place within two months.
The Bangkok Governor was quoted as saying, that “he had ordered city-run hospitals to open more counselling units to help people with mental illnesses.” Taking away hammers might be a good strart.
Some readers are confused about the nature of the Erawan Shrine. This is not a Buddhist srhine. The statue of the deity is not based on Buddhism. The statue represented a Hindu God called Brahma. The mixture of Hindu and animalistic beliefs is often confusing for foreigners who believe they are part of Buddhism.