Thailand: Bad For Business

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August 12, 2013: The first ever holiday (Moslem holy month of Ramadan) truce in the Moslem south held for a while but fell apart during the last week. It was thought that some of those late-Ramadan deaths were personal disputes or gangster related conflicts, not Islamic terrorism. Further investigation showed that there were indeed some truce breaking attacks. The truce did save as many as twenty lives. Many deaths that are, at first, believed Islamic terrorism related are later reclassified when investigators find criminal or personal circumstances. The criminal gangs are heavily involved with the Islamic terrorists and the killers often combine regular business with Islamic terrorism when they kill someone. This is particularly true now that the Islamic terrorists are killing more Moslems (for cooperating with the police, which is often done because of common criminal matters). The south has always been more lawless and violent than the rest of the country.

The criminal gangs influence among the Islamic terrorists may be declining because of the peace talks, which have split the Moslem separatists in the south. There are now more attacks against pro-peace Islamic leaders and the continued heavy police activity in the south is bad for business if you are a smuggler. Peace offers may not end the Islamic terrorism in the south, but infighting among the terrorists and continued military pressure certainly might. Separatist movements in this region have collapsed like this before and it looks like, once more, history is repeating itself.  

August 9, 2013: In the south 30 Burmese illegal migrants (Rohingya Moslems) escaped from a jail. The government refuses (despite growing international pressure) to accept illegal Rohingya migrants as refugees. At the start of 2013 the government ordered Rohingya to be blocked from entering the country. Despite that, Rohingya manage to get into Thailand and many get caught. During the last few years Thailand was more receptive of these Burmese Moslem refugees. Then there was another outbreak of violence between Rohingya and Burmese in mid-2012 that caused many more Rohingya to flee. Some 13,000 Rohingya fled Burma last year, up from 7,000 in 2011. Thailand is a favorite destination for refugees because of the booming economy. The Thais know this and deport any economic refugees they catch. While the business community likes the illegals for their willingness to work harder for less pay, most Thais oppose illegals for the same reason. The Rohingya have long been a special problem in both Burma and Thailand. A major problem in Burma is that the government does not recognize the Rohingya as Burmese. In part this was because the Rohingya lived on the Burmese/Bangladesh border and were considered invaders from Bangladesh, and partly because the Burmese are largely Buddhist and have had problems with Moslems (who tend to be a lot more intolerant and aggressive when it comes to religion). Moreover, while most Burmese have an East Asian appearance, the Rohingya look like Indians. Criminal gangs in the area are selling places on boats that attempt to sneak into Thai waters, where the Rohingya could claim asylum. But the first few months of 2013, Thailand arrested over 4,000 Rohingya refugees and confined them in guarded camps and jails until the refugees agreed to go back to Burma.

August 8, 2013: At a refugee camp in the south, police used a water cannon to prevent 261 Rohingya refugees from escaping.

August 5, 2013: In the south a prominent anti-terrorist Moslem cleric was murdered, apparently by Islamic terrorist gunmen. The dead cleric has been a major proponent of peace talks, which many of the Islamic terrorists oppose.  

August 2, 2013: In the south Islamic terrorists set fire to twelve businesses during the pre-dawn hours. This was apparently another effort to wreck the local economy in order to make southern Moslems angrier and more likely to back the terrorists. It doesn’t work out that way, as this sort of violence makes more Moslems hostile towards the Islamic terrorists.

July 24, 2013: In the south a roadside bomb killed two teachers. It is believed that the Islamic terrorists were attempting to attack a police car that was in front of the teacher’s car.

July 23, 2013: In the south Islamic terrorists shot dead six people in several attacks.

 

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