Sat, 18 Aug 2012 08:55 CDT
Surin - Locals have urged the Fine Arts Department's office in Nakhon Ratchasima to return ancient objects to the Changpee temple ruins after the mysterious deaths of several senior monks and local leaders in Sikhoraphum district.
The locals believe the guardians of the 3,000-year-old temple ruins in tambon Changpee are angry after statues and ancient objects were taken from the ruins by the Nakhon Ratchasima-based Fine Arts office and other state agencies during an excavation of the site in November 2010.
Chainarong Thonglor, head of Ban Changpee village, recently invited nine Buddhist monks to perform a ceremony to pray to guardians of the temple ruins for their forgiveness following the deaths of 10 senior monks and other residents of the village. Most died from unknown causes, said Mr Chainarong.
Many residents are gripped with fear following these mysterious deaths, and want the Fine Arts office to return the ancient statues and other objects to the temple ruins, he said.
Phra Samut Sornnarin Thammamethee, abbot of Wat Changpee, said local people believe the deaths were related to the relocation of sacred objects from the temple ruins. The village was once peaceful before these "untoward" incidents happened, he said.
Since the site was excavated, several unexplained incidents have occurred, the abbot said, including mysterious blue lights darting around the ruins.
He said locals will petition Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn if the objects are not returned.