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Families Scattering Cremated Remains into River Face US$1000 Fine

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Following complaints from local residents, Nakhon Ratchasima province in Northeastern Thailand has prohibited the practice of scattering cremated remains of the deceased into the Mun River at a public park.

Residents of seven villages in Tha Chang Sub-District in Nakhon Ratchasima complained that service providers disposed of candles, incense sticks, and personal effects of the deceased by the riverside.

There have also been instances when mattresses and pillows have been thrown into the river, polluting it and creating an unpleasant scene for the general public and nearby residents.

According to Vichien, washed, remains and other items dumped in the river could travel hundreds of kilometers downstream, causing environmental concerns for communities.

According to the governor, officials have been tasked with informing the public about the new rules and patrolling riverside areas to put a stop to the practice.

According to him, anyone who assists in discarding people’s remains and other activities could be punished with a maximum of three months in prison or a fine of 30,000 baht, or both.

Boats are frequently used in the northeast to disperse the cremated remains of loved ones into the Mun River. Boatmen wait on the riverbank for hire, usually near a temple, to serve families traveling long distances to attend the ritual.

In Thailand, funerals are regarded as significant events because they represent rebirth and the passage from one existence to another. Funeral rites tend to be more elaborate when a person is older and more respected.

Thais are typically cremated according to Buddhist rituals. There is usually a seven-day mourning period. The body is then taken to a morgue where it may be kept for days or even years before being cremated.

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