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Kavin Charin, 49, travelled to the South many times to peddle goods such as herbal ointments, inhalants, balms and miscellaneous goods.  In late August, she took her daughter along, and the daughter was killed on her first trip.

Kavin and 11 other fellow peddlers travelled by pickup truck from Amnat Charoen province in the northeast heading for the three southern border provinces.  On their way, they picked up her daughter  Supab Sawasdipab, 19, who had at the time lost her job at a factory in Bangkok, and pestered her mother to let her come along in the hope of making some money to repair their old house.

They came to Su-ngai Kolok district, Narathiwat province, and split up to sell their goods.

Around noon on 31 Aug, Supab was shot in the stomach and hip in a drive-by shooting by two men in Lubokayo village, Ra-ngae district; the goods in the basket she was carrying were scattered on the street.  She died that evening.  Her mother who was with her at the time of the shooting was not harmed.

Supab was married with one son, 2 years and eight months, who was being taken care of by her husband at home in Amnat Charoen.  He is a hired labourer, and is as poor as her family.

Kavin later received a compensation of 100,000 baht from the government.

‘I’ve always travelled to sell goods in the southern border provinces.  That was my third trip to Narathiwat.  I earned about 200-300 baht a day.  It’s better than growing cassava back home, because money comes in everyday,’ she said

She had never had any problems when she was in the area, but had to be cautious all the time.

Peddling in the South is a supplementary job for Kavin and others during the gaps between the rice and cassava growing seasons.  Kavin’s family grows cassava as the main crop, planted in October and harvested in March and April.

During the free months, some villagers travel to sell goods in various places across the country, but Kavin’s group goes to the South because there are already many peddlers in the Northeast.  Her group normally consists of 12-16 people.

After her daughter’s death, the whole group immediately went back home, and the body was brought to her village for religious rites. They were daunted, and took some time to regain their courage.

‘I don’t want to go back there any more.  Now I’m still sad, and still cannot come to terms with it.  Some of the others have gone back, but I won’t go.  If I am to continue peddling, I’ll go to some place else.  But where to is up to the boss,’ she said.

The ‘boss’ is a person in her village who buys the goods for them to sell.

She said that Supab was the eldest of her three children.  The second daughter just finished Matthayom 3 or Grade 9, and did not study further because the family was poor.

‘After the eldest daughter’s death, the second daughter decided to go to Bangkok to find work, because she wanted to help me.  She has worked at a clothes shop for two months now, and has sent me some money,’ Kavin said.

Kavin once persuaded this daughter to sell goods with her, but she said that she was not good at it.

Her youngest child, 4, attends the child care centre in the village.  Her husband cannot work due to arthritis, and now lives in a temple in the village.

The 100,000 baht compensation has been almost used up on the funeral and repair of the house.

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