Prayers for a new start

Most visitors heading to Bangkok's main shopping district will notice Erawan shrine, which sits at one of the capital city's busiest junctions.

Wafting sandalwood incense and temple music often provide a respite for devotees and onlookers.

Yesterday, Thai dancers prayed to the Lord Brahma statue in a ceremony at the shrine, in the wake of the Aug 17 blast that killed 20 people. Bangkok artists have repaired the four-faced golden statue, the shrine's centrepiece, that was damaged by the blast in at least 12 places, most obviously the chin of one of the faces.

Thai Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said the statue would help "create confidence and raise the morale of Thai people and tourists", reported the BBC.

The Hindu shrine is also considered sacred by Thai Buddhists and attracts many visitors.

Worshippers and Thai soldiers attended the unveiling of the repaired shrine.

Meanwhile, police have failed to uncover evidence to directly link two suspects in their custody to the attack.

DNA examination of the two men tie them to a stash of explosives found in a Bangkok apartment block, but not to evidence collected at the shrine, police said yesterday.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2015, with the headline 'Prayers for a new start'. Print Edition | Subscribe