>Islamic groups raise funds for teachers jailed in Cambodia

>The Muslim terrorism suspects were convicted by a Cambodian court to jail term.

MUHAMMAD AYUB PATHAN WAEDAO HARAI

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Five Islamic groups have joined forces to raise funds for the families of two Islamic religious teachers sentenced to life in jail by a Cambodian court for involvement with the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Abdul-asi Hayijaoming and Muhammad Yalaludin Mading were jailed in March by the Phnom Penh Supreme Court.

Anantachai Taipratarn, who heads a fund-raising panel, said the Council of Muslim Organisations, the Young Muslim Association, the Southern Cultural Foundation, the Community Development Foundation and the Muslim Lawyers Centre would hold a fund raising seminar at the Islamic Committee office in Yala on Saturday.

The meeting would discuss the JI problem and the legal battle in Cambodia. Participants would also hear from the two men’s wives, A-isa Hayijaoming and Parida Mading.Abdul-asi from Narathiwat and Muhammad from Yala were sent to Cambodia in 1999 by the Yala-based Ammulguroh charitable foundation to teach religion in remote provinces.

The two were arrested in May 2003 for alleged involvement with JI, which was behind the 2002 bombings on the resort island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreign vacationers.

The Cambodian court threw out the case in December 2003, but charged the couple the same day with attempted terrorist attacks on the US, British and Australian embassies in Phnom Penh.

The Supreme Court handed them both a life sentence in March.

Security volunteer Abroheng Joh-ngoh, 46, was arrested in Narathiwat yesterday for leaking intelligence to the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) militant group in Sungai Padi district.

During the search of a house belonging to Mr Abroheng’s wife, authorities and reporters ducked for cover as four armed militants emerged and opened fire.

After a brief exchange of gunfire, the militants retreated to a paddy field at the back of the house, but ran into a back-up force which apprehended Nasueran Pi, 24. Mr Nasueran was on the authorities’ list of militants and is a cousin of Mr Abroheng’s wife.

Yesterday, Privy Councillor Surayud Chulanont, the former prime minister, toured the Daruslam ponoh institute in Yala’s Muang district which was chosen by the San Jai Thai Su Jai Tai (Uniting Thai Hearts for the South) project initiated by Privy Council President Gen Prem Tinsulanonda as a model ponoh school.

The Daruslam ponoh’s students have been encouraged to contribute to school improvement by exercising their carpentry, painting and metal welding skills.

”The students have not only sharpened their skills, but showed the power of cooperation,” Gen Surayud said.

The school, which has 295 students, was also selected under Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s project for improvement of academic standards and quality of life.
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