Thailand: Bout Bounced While The South Sizzles

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September 9, 2010: Yesterday and today, three bombs were found in the capital and neutralized. In the last three months, there have been six attacks in the capital using grenades, which have killed one person and wounded about fifteen. All these attacks were directed at the government. But it's unclear if these actions were carried out by the populist opposition, or the government (to gain sympathy from more Thais). That sort of ploy has been used before in  Thailand. In this case, it justifies the government decision to maintain the martial law-like conditions in the capital. Meanwhile, the populist opposition has apparently decided to quiet down, and see how the situation develops. The majority of Thais are still angry with their government, and widespread unrest is still a possibility.

September 8, 2010:  The school teachers association in the south tried to organize a mass closure of over 400 schools down there, to protest the recent murders of two teachers. But most schools remained open, as many teachers believed the best way to respond to the Islamic terrorists was to keep teaching. Meanwhile, the army received information about the location of a large terrorist camp, deep in the jungle. Troops located the camp and raided it. The terrorists escaped, but about 30 of them appeared to live there. Documents found in the camp identified the inhabitants as the RKK (Runda Kumpulan Kecil) a known Islamic terror/separatist group. Weapons, ammo and bomb making materials were also found in the camp. This is the largest terrorist camps found, and seized, so far.

September 7, 2010:  Two primary school teachers were killed by Islamic terrorists in the south. The two were married and Buddhist. The terrorists announced that they would kill 18 more. This caused panic among the largely Buddhist (because of chronic lack of education among Moslems) teachers in the south. The southerners differ in terms of ethnicity and religion (being Malays and Moslems, versus the Thai Buddhists who are over 90 percent of the population). The terrorists see Buddhist teachers from the north as a threat to cultural and religious purity in the south. The terrorists are a small minority down south, but they are armed and willing to kill. Some 20 percent of southerners are not Moslems, so the terrorists have plenty of targets.

In addition to the two dead teachers, four others were killed by Islamic terrorists in the last two days. The dead included Moslems as well as Buddhists.

September 3, 2010: In the south, two clashes left two soldiers and one Islamic terrorist dead. The army was carrying out raids on places known to harbor Islamic radicals.

September 1, 2010: In the south, Islamic terrorists killed two Buddhist farm workers and a soldier.

August 29, 2010: In the south Islamic terrorists killed three people (including a Moslem child).

August 27, 2010: In the south Islamic terrorists killed five people

August 23, 2010: Former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra resigned as economics advisor to the Cambodian government, making it possible for Thailand and Cambodia to resume normal diplomatic relations.

August 19, 2010: After two years of legal and diplomatic wrangling, Thailand has agreed to extradite notorious Russian gunrunner Viktor Bout to the United States. Bout had come to Thailand, to arrange arms shipments to FARC rebels in Colombia, safe in the knowledge that Thai police looked the other way at people like him, as long as he spent lots of money and stayed out of trouble while in Thailand. But U.S. agents had pretended to be from FARC, and had set up a sting. The Thai officials were taken care of (with cash or favors, it’s unclear, but arrangements were made to prevent Bout from promptly bribing his way out of jail). Bout brought in more cash and lawyers, and for two years was able to stall attempts to extradite him. There are still more bureaucratic delays before U.S. officials get Bout on an airplane for America. Then, there is trepidation in many parts of the world (including the United States) over what secrets Bout will spill about his arms trafficking career.

August 17, 2010: The government lifted emergency rule (sort of martial law) in three more northern provinces.

 

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