Thailand: Three Different Wars At Once

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October 16, 2008:  The armed forces commanders have assured the government that there will not be another coup, but at the same time, the generals refuse to provide troops to deal with the anti-democracy mobs. This leaves the government with only one option, to call in pro-government mobs from the countryside. Another option, of course, is to surrender to the demands that the government be run by officials from the urban minority (that considers itself morally superior to the majority that elected the current government, and thus more worthy to rule.)

Thai and Cambodian officers met on the border and agreed to work out procedures to avoid any future gun battles.

October 15, 2008: Thai and Cambodian troops fired on each other, leaving two Cambodians dead and seven wounded. At least seven Thais were wounded in a firefight that lasted about 40 minutes. There are several thousand troops in the area.

October 14, 2008: Cambodia demanded that Thai troops be withdrawn from disputed territory on the border, otherwise there will be war (a small one, anyway.) In response, Thailand sent more troops to the border.

October 13, 2008: The police chief told the government that he would not use his anti-riot forces to break up future anti-democracy demonstrations. However, the police will defend their headquarters and other police facilities. The police are led by urbanites who often agree with the anti-democracy demonstrators.

October 7, 2008: In the capital, anti-democracy demonstrators again tried to shut down the government, but for the first time the riot police were sent in and used force to clear away the rioters. Two died and over 400 people were injured, out of over 5,000 involved. The rioters had attempted to shut off electricity and water to parliament and government buildings.

October 6, 2008: On the Cambodian border, two Thai soldiers were wounded by a landmine. It's unclear whose mine it was.

October 5, 2008: Police have arrested the leaders of the demonstrators who have occupied government compounds since late August. The demonstrators represent urban activists who wish to overthrow the elected government and replace it with one run by a more righteous and anti-corruption minority. The government has been unable to negotiate a peace deal with the anti-democracy demonstrators.

October 4, 2008: Thai and Cambodian military commanders met on the border to work out arrangements to prevent further clashes. The Thais insisted that Cambodian troops entered Thai territory and opened fire first.

In the Moslem south, a pickup truck full of gunmen opened fire on an army patrol, killing two soldiers. The trend in the south, however, is less violence. In any event, most of the civilians down there with guns are gangsters, not Islamic extremists.

October 3, 2008: After over a month of quiet, Thai and  Cambodian troops exchanged fire for a few minutes on the border. One Cambodian and two Thai troops were wounded. There has been a confrontation over exactly where the border is, and who controls land near an ancient temple.

 

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