Thailand: The Generals Go South

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October 4, 2006: The terrorism continues in the south, with 10-15 dead a week. The terrorists continue to target non-Moslems, and Moslems who oppose the terrorists. The new government hopes to mobilize the moderate Moslems (who are the majority down south), to oppose the Islamic radical organizations that are behind the terrorism. That won't be easy, as the terrorists are led by radical clerics and financed by criminal gangs and foreign religious charities (mostly from the Persian Gulf). The terrorists have weapons, money and the cover of religion. It's a tough combination to crack.
October 3, 2006: Deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra resigned as head of the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) party, which was his political base. Thaksin could, theoretically, run in the next elections and become prime minister once more. But he will probably be prosecuted for corruption in the meantime.
October 2, 2006: A retired general, Surayud Chulanont, was sworn in as prime minister. He will serve until elections next year select a new prime minister. The new prime minister believes he can end the Islamic terrorism in the south within a year. Chulanont is known as incorruptible, and was sidelined in 2002 after clashing with deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra (who has a more liberal view on the subject of corruption.) Chulanont's government will go after corruption, which is found in most parts of the government, long before Thaksin Shinawatra showed up. Thaksin Shinawatra was just better at manipulating the system than his predecessors.
September 29, 2006: The U.S. has suspended military aid to Thailand until an elected government returns to power.

 

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