Thailand: The Imperfect Solution

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December 8, 2009:  In the south, the security forces continue their two pronged strategy. On one hand, much effort is put into improving the economy, and living conditions in general. This, in turn, makes the population more willing to give up information on the Islamic radical rebels. In response, the rebels have increasingly been attacking Moslems they suspect of cooperating with the police. This cycle is working against the rebels.

While many Moslems in the south favor greater autonomy for the three Moslem provinces in the south, 80 percent of all Thais oppose the idea. There is a lot of opposition in the military as well. Autonomy and economic development are seen as the only long-term solution to the unrest down south. The violence makes it difficult to attract businesses to the south.

In Cambodia, anti-Thai feelings continue to flourish, partly because of the belief that Thailand has sent spies to keep an eye on anti-Thai activities. One such Thai spy is under arrest, and more are believed out there.

December 7, 2009: In the south, a motorcycle bomb went off in a market. Two people died, and nine were injured.

December 5, 2009: In the south, police received tips that led them to a house that was serving as a base, and bomb making workshop, for Islamic terrorists. Two of the rebels were arrested, but six others escaped. Weapons, documents and bomb making materials were captured.

 

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