Things to improve from now: Chidchai
The turmoil in Thailand will subside because the Brahma statue at the Erawan Shrine has made a self-sacrifice and borne the bad luck troubling the country, said Pol General Chidchai Wannasathid, acting deputy prime minister.
"I have talked to an astrologer who told me that the incident could be seen as a self-sacrifice of Phra Phrom. The situation should now start to improve," he said.
"I have also had a telephone conversation with Bovornsak Uwanno, the secretary of the Cabinet about this self sacrifice of Thao Maha Phrom. This time we have a sacrifice of love in a great way, which should help dispel the bad luck."
Chidchai was speaking at the Erawan Shrine yesterday during Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's inspection of the remnants of the four-faced statue, hammered to pieces by a man with a record of mental illness on Tuesday.
It was a shocking incident for the Bangkok public, who have worshipped the Brahma statue for the past 50 years.
Thaksin took time in the afternoon to visit the shrine, where he was met by Surakiart Sathirathai, the deputy prime minister, and the heads of the Fine Arts Department, Religion Department and Foundation of Thao Maha Phrom.
Thaksin said it would take about two months to restore the statue to its original shape. "The restoration will have to strictly follow the religious principles and all the rituals. Some parts of the original statue may also be placed at the shrine," he added.
Thaksin worshipped at the shrine before setting free nine birds as part of a merit-making ritual.
The desecration of Phra Phrom has triggered widespread rumours in the capital about the ill omens hovering over Thailand. Sondhi Limthongkul, one of the leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy, said yesterday during the anti-Thaksin rally that something fishy was going on with the desecration of Phra Phrom. "Why was the man stomped to death after he smashed the statue? I have in-depth information about someone who is deeply obsessed with superstition. He wants to destroy Thao Maha Phrom so that he can rebuild it by himself and then bury "his stuff" in the statue. This is a way to avert ill omens," Sondhi said.
"Anybody who messes with superstition will also perish by superstition ... we have a leader, who is obsessed with superstition. That's why we have to suffer," Sondhi said.
There is a rumour that a high-ranking politician has linked his own luck with Phra Phrom at both Government House and Erawan Shrine, so that when people worship the Brahma statues, they also pray for his long life and power.