Petals on the wa­ter bid farewell to Bangkok vic­tim


Reach­ing low over the river, Krit­suda Narong­pla­ian gen­tly opened her palm and let the breeze carry away a fist­ful of or­ange marigold petals — her fi­nal farewell to a boyfriend cut down by the Bangkok shrine bomb.

Yut­tha­narong Sin­gro was de­liv­er­ing a doc­u­ment near the mon­u­ment in the Thai cap­i­tal last Mon­day when the bomb went off, killing him and 19 other peo­ple. He was 38.

On Sun­day around 40 of his friends and fam­ily gath­ered on a ferry in Sa­mut Prakan province east of Bangkok, to scat­ter his ashes at sea where the Chao Phraya river meets the Gulf of Thai­land.

Af­ter a short Bud­dhist cer­e­mony led by a monk, the white cloth con­tain­ing the vic­tim’s ashes, tied by a gar­land of or­ange flow­ers, was low­ered into the dark wa­ters.

As the boat moved, leav­ing a trail of flower petals and puffs of smoke from still burn­ing joss sticks on the wa­ter, Krit­suda turned to the sea and gave a ‘wai’ ges­ture to bless the spirit of her loved one.

They had been to­gether for five years.

The bomber is still at large and no mo­tive has emerged for an at­tack that tar­geted civil­ians at rush hour in Bangkok’s com­mer­cial cen­ter.

But de­spite a week of heart­break, 30-year-old Krit­suda har­bors no thoughts of re­venge.

“I don’t want any­thing,” she told AFP, her face drained by grief.

“Af­ter I send him to heaven (by re­leas­ing his ashes) then I don’t want any­thing any­more,” she added.

But oth­ers on the small ferry were less san­guine, re­flect­ing the anger and pain of many Bangkokians shocked by the at­tack on a re­li­gious site in a de­vout na­tion.

The prime sus­pect is a young man in a yel­low T-shirt seen leav­ing a back­pack at the scene mo­ment be­fore the blast.

Po­lice say he is likely to be a “for­eigner” op­er­at­ing as part of net­work of sev­eral oth­ers, in a well-planned op­er­a­tion po­ten­tially need­ing the as­sis­tance of Thais.

“I want them (the bombers) to die — that’s what they de­serve,” said the vic­tim’s older brother, Pakkapol Sin­gro, 44, adding his sib­ling was grue­somely dis­fig­ured by the blast.

“I want po­lice to ar­rest the per­pe­tra­tors as soon as pos­si­ble. My brother was a cheer­ful per­son, he was a good man, his friends loved him.”

Yut­tha­narong nor­mally couri­ered doc­u­ments for an advertising com­pany by mo­tor­bike but chose public trans­port that day, he said.

He was walk­ing to the Sky­train when the bomb killed him.

He leaves be­hind two chil­dren aged 10 and 13 from his first mar­riage.

Six Thais died in the at­tack.

But he ma­jor­ity of the dead were eth­nic Chi­nese Asians vis­it­ing a pop­u­lar Hindu shrine with a rep­u­ta­tion — un­til last week — for bring­ing good for­tune.

More than 50 peo­ple re­main in hos­pi­tal, some still crit­i­cally ill.

With no-one claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the bomb­ing, ru­mors and spec­u­la­tion have swirled.

Pos­si­ble per­pe­tra­tors named by po­lice and ex­perts alike in­clude in­ter­na­tional ji­hadists, mem­bers of Thai­land’s south­ern Malay-Mus­lim in­sur­gency, mil­i­tants on both sides of Thai­land’s deep po­lit­i­cal di­vide and even some­one mo­ti­vated by a per­sonal grudge.

But with no break­through in the case, those who have lost loved ones are left only with mem­o­ries.

Ka­mon Wong­prasarn re­mem­bered a friend who loved sports and had a good heart and a ready smile.

“Now I feel that a good per­son has gone from my life,” he said.

“I was happy when I was with him. We talked all the time ... I feel lost. I feel so very sad.”


(Above) A woman holds in­cense sticks as she of­fers prayers at the re­opened Erawan shrine — the pop­u­lar tourist site where 20 peo­ple were killed on Mon­day, Aug. 17 in a bomb blast — in cen­tral Bangkok on Satur­day, Aug. 22. (Right) Del­e­gates from the main­land Chi­nese rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in Thai­land lay flow­ers as they pay their re­spects for vic­tims killed in a bomb blast at a re­li­gious shrine in Bangkok, Sun­day, Aug. 23.

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