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The Islamic terrorism in the south continues. In the last eight years over 11,000 attacks have killed 5,000 people and wounded more than 9,000. While the number of incidents per month has declined over the last few years, efforts to negotiate with the Islamic terror groups have proved impossible. Dissatisfaction among the Moslem civilians in the south has become more of a problem for the Islamic terrorists than the numerous police and army patrols.
December 2, 2012: In the south (Pattani) several hundred schools were reopened after being closed for a week so that teacher security could be upgraded. In the last eight years 154 teachers have been killed and 151 wounded in the south. Most of these casualties were Buddhists, who are now paid bonuses to teach in the south. Low education levels in the area have been responsible for much of the poverty there. There are not enough college educated southerners to staff the schools or provide other professional services (like lawyers, nurses, and doctors). The Islamic terrorists are against more education in the south, but most of the Moslems down there disagree with this.
November 30, 2012: In the south a roadside bomb killed a soldier and wounded five others.
November 26, 2012: Some 300 schools were closed in the south in response to teacher demands that security be improved for the staff.
November 24, 2012: About 12,000 royalist (“yellow shirt”) demonstrators assembled in the capital but were confronted by 17,000 police. The demonstration was considered a failure. Last year the low-level civil war that has been going on for the last six years ended. The Royalists acknowledged that the majority of Thais do not support them and agreed to abide by the results of the July 3rd, 2011 election that put a red shirt party into power. The royalists (also called the urban elite) gained power via a coup in 2006, and held onto it using tainted elections. For years the Royalists tried to capture and prosecute the Populist (red shirt) leader, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The royalists and urban elites believed that the capture, trial, and imprisonment of Shinawatra might break the will of the populists or convince Shinawatra to switch sides. Two years ago the courts moved to seize half of Shinawatra's fortune ($1.4 billion), as a fine for being corrupt. This was an unpopular move, since nearly all Thai politicians are corrupt and people wondered who was going to get the $1.4 billion. The red shirts threatened violence over the seizure, although Shinawatra, from exile in Dubai, urged calm and only non-violent demonstrations. Many Royalists believed that Shinawatra was financing the populist violence with this money. The royalists have contempt for the poor and less educated red shirts, and this is returned with resentment and growing anger towards the wealthier and better educated urban population that opposes majority rule. This anger has not been extinguished by the government use of force against those demonstrating for fair elections and a restoration of democracy. Such class warfare is nothing new. There were similar outbreaks in the 1970s and 1990s. But the current one is more widespread and having more of a negative impact on the economy.
November 22, 2012: In the south (Pattani), two gunmen shot to death the principal of a school. This caused 40 schools in the district to suspend classes as teachers called for an upgrade in their security.
November 21, 2012: In the south (Narathiwat province) a roadside bomb went off, wounding two soldiers and a civilian. Train service resumed after being suspended for three days because of a bomb that cut the main track. Elsewhere in the south another bomb was found and disarmed.
November 20, 2012: In the south two roadside bombs were spotted by local civilians, reported, and disarmed by military engineers. The remote control bombs were apparently meant for an army patrol that uses the road.
November 18, 2012: In the south (Narathiwat province) a bomb on the tracks, near a railroad station, went off and damaged a train. Two cars were derailed. Nearby Islamic terrorists opened fire, and when the attack was all over three guards were dead and 34 people wounded.
November 15, 2012: In the south two civilians were killed, apparently by Islamic terrorists. One was a village leader, the other was a rubber plantation worker.