Some 90 percent of Thais are Buddhist,
and many are warming to the idea of making Buddhism the state religion. This
would mean more restrictions on Moslems looking for special treatment. What
Moslem Thais fear the most, is the violent reaction to threats that is so
typically Thai. There has already been some of that in the south, and the
response was more terrorism. But if this triggers another outburst of violence
against the Islamic terrorists, eventually the vastly outnumbered Moslems lose.
The government is trying to avoid this, but in the past, this has proved
difficult. Attacks on Moslems in the south are increasing. Some are coercion by
Islamic militants, to persuade Moslems not to cooperate with the police. But
more and more of these attacks are retaliation by Buddhists. The government is
working out an amnesty plan, to try and get more sober-minded Islamic
terrorists a way out, before things get completely out of hand and the
Buddhists strike back hard.
May 2, 2007: The military wants to increase
security forces strength in the south by a third (to 40,000).
May 1, 2007: A bomb went off in a night market in
the south, killing one and wounding twenty. A note left nearby said this was in
retaliation for a recent bomb attack on a Mosque.
April 30, 2007: In the south, Buddhists are
increasingly arming and fighting back. This includes bombing Moslem targets, in
response to bombs used against Buddhists.
April 29, 2007: Terrorists burned down two
schools and a medical clinic in the south, continuing their attacks on symbols
of the Thai nation. At the same time, over a hundred young Moslem men blocked a
main road to protest the death of their religious leader (via a grenade
April 28, 2007: Someone drove by a mosque in
the south and fired several dozen shots at it. No one was injured, and the
shooters were believed to be Islamic terrorists (who were
"celebrating" the death of 32 fellow terrorists in that mosque three