Monday, April 9, 2007

International Herald Tribune: 50 year old woman killed in a stampede for Jatukam Ramathep amulets in southern Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand: A 50-year-old woman was killed and dozens of people injured Monday when a crowd in southern Thailand stampeded during a sale of a popular talisman supposed to bring good fortune, police said.

More than 10,000 people had camped overnight by a school compound in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, 580 kilometers (360 miles) south of Bangkok, waiting to buy the amulets, which in the past few months have gained a huge following for their alleged magical qualities.

The victim fell and was trampled on when the crowd rushed the school gates when sales of a new batch of the amulets was set to begin Monday morning, said police Lt. Suriyon Kaemthong.

Many Thais carry or wear amulets for good luck. The amulets usually show images associated with Buddhism — the religion of most Thais — though amulets are not formally part of its doctrine. A large commercial market exists for collectors, and rare amulets reputedly command prices of over 1 million baht (US$30,600; €22,800).

The Jatukam Ramathep amulets for sale Monday are named for the prince of a kingdom that existed in southern Thailand in ancient times who defeated his enemies.


Lovely. More people dying over mumbo jumbo. No democracy, no constitution, no political freedom, but hey, let's go crazy for Jatukam amulets and other mindless voodoo that does nobody any good.

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