Thailand: Another Coup Succeeds

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December16, 2008:  In the south, Islamic terrorist violence continues to decline, but also shows no sign of completely disappearing. Local leaders and community groups largely oppose the terrorists now, which has caused more Moslems to be the targets of attacks. What started as an ethnic/religious cleansing campaign, has evolved into a civil war among Moslems in the south. Most southern Moslems realize that the majority Thais are not going to be forced out. Worse, the Islamic militants offer a religious dictatorship (lifestyle restrictions, no non-religious schools, or any at all for girls) that is particularly unappealing to most people in the south.

The minority royalist parties got their way as one of their supporters was elected the new prime minister. Most Thais regard this as another military coup, this time using mobs of urban supporters instead of troops (who refused to interfere to restore order). Thus the country claims to be a democracy, but is now ruled by a minority of royalists and urban groups who believe they know what is best for everyone, despite their inability to obtain the majority of votes.

 

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