In the south, the Islamic
terrorists have increasingly found themselves in the midst of a religious war
of their own creation. Buddhist irregulars, and moonlighting soldiers and
police, are attacking mosques and suspected Islamic militants. Vigilantes and
death squads are a staple of Thai culture, at least when there is a lot of
civil disorder. The Buddhist minority in the south is fighting for its
survival, and a large faction of the security forces are willing to do anything
to destroy the Islamic militants.
opinion poll showed that a little over half the population expects another
military coup in the next year. The military, aristocracy, and the educated
urban population, are a large minority, and are not happy with the recent
governments, led by politicians who have mobilized the votes of the poor and
the rural population. That led to the last coup, and may lead to another.
Myanmar, only about ten percent of the two million victims of the May 3rd
cyclone have received any aid. The death toll is expected to rise due to a lack
of medical and food aid. The government is now accepting aid, but not foreign
aid workers. The government does not have the disaster experts and resources
(especially helicopters) to get the food and medical supplies to cyclone
2008: Police busted a major false
identity operation, seizing 21,000 fake passports (largely for France,
Suriname, Norway, Belgium, Italy and Myanmar), in various states of completion.
A dozen arrests were made, most of them men from Burma. Some members of the
gang were also involved in drug smuggling and gun running (to Sri Lankan
2008: A major cyclone hit Myanmar (Burma),
killing up to 100,000 and destroying the homes and livelihoods of several
million. The military government refused to let foreign aid workers in, noting
that the NGOs that handle most disaster relief tend to be politically active
and adroit at manipulating the media. The Burmese generals have run the country
for over half a century using a combination of terror (to their enemies) and
generosity (to their supporters). Most of the nation has become impoverished as
a result and unrest has grown. The Burmese generals fear an uprising more than
more human suffering in the Irrawaddy River Delta, where most of the cyclone
damage took place.