Wednesday, February 17, 2010
destruction of hmong graves
according to this website run by national hmong grave desecration committee (nhgdc), hmong graves have been destroyed and may continue to face destruction in thailand at wat tham krabok close to a former hmong refugee camp.
the official reason for the removal of the graves was that the remains of the hmong are contamenating the local water supply. thus, the bodies were exhumed and cremated. however, the families of the dead were not notified, and apparently the exhumations were carried out in a way that violates hmong custom, i.e. "the exhumations sometimes included dismemberment, separation of parts of the corpses and cremation." cremation is a buddhist practice and violates hmong tradition. hmong funeral rites are very specific and if not followed can lead to restless spirits and physical problems for their living relatives.
additionally, some charge that the reasons given for the exhumations is not consistent with what occurred durinig the exhumations. this is evidenced in that the ethnic chinese graves situated next the the hmong cemetary were left untouched. additionally, in many instances, the flesh and clothes were removed from the bodies and placed back in the graves.
please visit this website to sign a petition protesting the desecration of hmong graves in thailand. feel free to contact me with any comments regarding this.