Thailand: Putting The Army In Charge

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June 11, 2013: The government has given the army the key role in developing and implementing plans for dealing with the Islamic terrorism in the south. The army was believed best able to coordinate the efforts of six government agencies to improve the lives and reduce support for Islamic separatists in the south.

Meanwhile, despite violent objections by some of the Islamic terrorist groups in the south, peace talks with the BRN (Barisan Revolusi Nasional) continue. These talks begin last April in Malaysia. The venue makes some of the Thai Islamic terrorists angry because Moslem Malaysia had always been seem as an ally if, at best, a passive one. But Malaysia sees the continuing unrest in southern Thailand as a growing criminal problem for Malaysia. The Thai Islamic terrorists were always supported by the Thai smuggling gangs working the Malaysian border. This business involved moving contraband in both directions and Malaysia would like to see this misbehavior reduced. Besides, the Thais have prevented the southern rebels from getting anywhere near their goal of autonomy or independence. Historically, it’s not a good idea to mess with the Thais, who tend to come out on top. It’s happening again in southern Thailand and the Malaysians want to be a good neighbor. Some of the Thai Islamic terror groups would rather die than admit defeat and the Thais will accommodate them. Many army leaders believe that peace will only arrive when the last terrorist is hunted down and captured or killed. There’s some truth to that, but if peace talks can take a lot of terrorists out of action without violence that’s a big, much less bloody, help.

Police have uncovered another people smuggling operation in the Moslem south. This one brings Burmese Moslems from the Burma border, through Thailand, and into Malaysia. The smuggling gangs in the south have long shown a willingness to move anyone, or anything, across the border if the price was right.

June 10, 2013: The government extended the emergency law for the southern three provinces three more months (June 20th to September 19th).

June 4, 2013: In the south two bombs went off near each other, wounding three people. Elsewhere in the south five soldiers were wounded by a roadside bomb while escorting teachers (who were unhurt). Another roadside bomb used against a convoy of local officials caused no injuries.

May 30, 2013: In the south two Islamic terrorists were killed in a clash with soldiers. Two weapons were recovered.

May 27, 2013: In the south two soldiers and three policemen were killed in several clashes.

May 24, 2013: In the south several bombs left 13 people wounded.

May 23, 2013: In the south an Islamic terrorist was killed in a gun battle with soldiers.

May 20, 2013: There was a massive power blackout in the 14 southern provinces. It lasted several hours in some places and was traced to a technical problem. At first it was thought that it might be the result of Islamic terrorism from the three southernmost provinces. It wasn’t.

May 15, 2013: The navy is trying to get the legislature to approve $420 million for a new 4,000 frigate to be built in South Korea. The politicians are resisting because of the high cost and no major naval threats. The admirals want the more modern South Korean design in preference to the cheaper Chinese warships they have been buying. Thai warships are getting older, which is a major problem since many are second hand to begin with.

 

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