Monday, December 31, 2007
Reference: Troops get amulet protection, Bangkok Post, January 1, 2007
On December 11 2007, one of the buses in a convoy of three buses carrying soldiers to Pattani in southern Thailand was hit by a roadside bomb and 15 soldiers in that bus were injured. There was no fatality. Incredibly, in the investigation into this incident, data were taken on whether the soldiers were wearing a talisman called the "Luang Poo Jiam" around their neck at the time of the bombing. The data showed that while all the soldiers in the convoy possessed these talismans, only those in the unfortunate bus were not actually wearing the amulets on their neck at the time of the bombing. The military concluded from these data that the talismans had protected the soldiers who wore them and had exposed those that did not to the injuries caused by the bomb. Subsequently, the the military commander of the Pattani Task Force ordered all his men to wear the "Luang Poo Jiam" amulet around their neck at all times saying that they would be protected from harm if they did so. The military has acted in an unprofessional manner in this case and in so doing has provided all the reasons to those still in doubt why there must never be another coup in Thailand. The economic powerhouse of Southeast Asia can ill afford to place its future in the hands of talisman jockeys.