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Nurawati was the last wife of Jaebahem Tuilo, 47, a kamnan or headman in Thung Pho Subdistrict, Saba Yoi District, Songkhla.  Her husband was gunned down at the market in the district town on 13 Aug 2010.  He had two wives and 4 children with the first wife and a two-and-a-half-year-old girl with her.  He also had 8 other children from his previous two marriages which had ended in divorce.

Nurawati, 33, had 3 other children with her first husband who died of disease, and had been a widow for a few years before marrying Jaebahem, who had a rubber-wood selling business.

Jaebahem built her a new house worth 2,300,000 baht, and bought her a 17-rai rubber plantation.  The house was completed, but a housewarming ceremony had yet to be held when he was killed.

The house was built with a bank loan.  After his death, the bank did not disburse the last tranche.  So she had to borrow money from others to pay for the remaining construction costs.  However, the house and the rubber plantation were then sold by her husband’s relatives, and she was given part of the money.

She used her husband’s family name, as she was the only wife he had taken to register the marriage.  That was because they planned to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia together, and a marriage certificate was required.  However, her pregnancy thwarted the plan.

Nurawati stayed on at her husband’s village for almost two more months, and then took her child back to live with her mother in her hometown Na Thawi district, due to problems with his first wife and other relatives.

Her husband’s family was given 100,000 baht financial assistance from Songkhla provincial authorities, although, according to the government’s criteria for helping those affected by the southern unrest, the amount should have been 500,000 baht.  That was because the authorities had not yet been able to come to a conclusion as to whether Jaebahem was killed as a result of the unrest or personal conflicts.

The money was shared among several people.  Nurawati received a small portion of it, which she kept for their only child.

She had no idea whether the rest of the financial assistance would be given, as after she came back to her hometown, she had no further contact with her husband’s family.

She felt upset over what had happened.  And she was very tired of having to tell her story over and over again when she met people who asked why she had come back home.

She is now hired as a rubber tapper, earning about 200-250 baht a day, most of which is for her children to go to school.

Now back at her own home, she has brought all 4 children to live together, after she left the others with her mother and her former mother-in-law.

The house where she now lives was built by her first husband who died before it was finished; it was finished later by his father.  She has chosen to live here because her mother’s house has been flooded too often.

Her eldest child, a 15-year-old girl, left school after finishing Prathom 6.  Her son, 13, is studying Matthayom 1 in Na Thawi District.  The third child, an 11-year-old girl, is studying Prathom 5.  And the youngest daughter is now going to a kindergarten.

Soon after coming home, men often made phone calls to court her, mostly in an obscene way.  She thought that they might regard her as a widow, so they did not have to care much about their manners.

She felt so annoyed that she changed her mobile phone number.  She also chased away those who came to her front door.  Now she gets no more phone calls like that.  

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