Thailand: Speak Softly, and Threaten a Bloodbath

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April 2, 2007: The violence in the south continues, with 400 dead in the last six months, and 2,100 in the three years since the Islamic terrorists began their killing spree. There are more than 40,000 security forces (soldiers and police) deployed in the south. The Moslem violence is not seen as a threat to the nation, but more of a nuisance. The three Moslem provinces down there contain only about two million people. Thailand has 65 million people, and 85 percent of them are Buddhist, as are about a quarter of those in the south. At the moment, Thais are more concerned with a drought in the north, which is threatening the livelihoods and lives of over eight million Thais. In the south, the government is trying to reach a peaceful resolution to the violence. Normally, Thais prefer a violent and quick solution to problems like this. That, however, is messy, and no longer as fashionable, locally or internationally, as it used to be. But hunting down the dozens of small groups of Islamic militants is proving difficult. The bad guys have the Moslem population terrorized as well. Not many people are willing to talk.

April 1, 2007: The government has agreed to share intelligence with Sri Lanka, and crack down on gunrunners supplying weapons to Sri Lankan rebels. Like most countries in the region, the government will look the other way if illegal operators maintain a low profile and are big tippers when government officials come by. This will no longer work for weapons smugglers running stuff to Sri Lanka.

March 27, 2007: In the south, about a thousand Buddhists demonstrated, demanding more protection from Islamic terrorist violence. There have been an increasing number of revenge attacks against Moslems in the south. But the victims are rarely the the terrorists themselves, but simply Moslems. This enrages more Moslems and increases the support for the Islamic terrorists.

 

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