Juling's vision of peace
Published on May 23, 2006 - Juling Pangamoon was more than happy to leave her home in the northernmost province of Chiang Rai to teach at a school some 2,000 kilometres away in the country's far South.
|She was optimistic about the peace-loving and friendly nature of the people who lived there, a view she had acquired during years she spent drawing and painting temples and schools in the South before becoming a teacher in Narathiwat.
Juling's parents said the 24-year-old teacher wanted to settle in Narathiwat permanently because she fell in love with the South and wanted to devote her life to teaching children there.
"I never imagined any bad luck would follow her," said Juling's mother Khamme Pangamoon. "She insisted the South was a safe place and talked about her plans for our family to move there. I just finished a three-week stay with her a week ago to find out if it was really as safe as she said," Khamme said.
"The peace she saw does not exist, " she said.
Juling and another teacher at Ban Kuching Reupah School in Narathiwat's Rangae district were taken hostage and beaten last Friday by villagers who demanded authorities release two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of two marines in the same district last year.
Juling sustained life-threatening injuries and slipped into a coma. Yesterday, her condition worsened.
"She is once again relying on respiratory equipment. For a brief time on the weekend she could breathe by herself," said Dr Sumet Peerawut, the director of Prince of Songkhla Hospital in Hat Yai.
Juling remained unconscious yesterday and X-rays of her brain and abdomen showed no signs of improvement, Sumet said. Only a miracle could save Juling's life, the doctor said on Saturday.
Lying in coma on a hospital bed, Juling has left unfinished what she intended to be a masterpiece - a painting of the school she loved.
Friends and family members, who know how much she loved painting and how talented she was, keep praying for her to recover, and for her to be able to finish the painting of her school.
But their wish may never come true.
"I pray for her to wake up to finish that picture," said Thavorn Sri-amnuay, a close friend.
Juling began working at the school in October last year. It was her first school after graduating from Rajabhat University in Lampang province in 2002.
Before she started teaching, Juling and three friends spent two years drawing and painting at temples and schools in the South. She published a book of the sketches and dedicated it to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.