Tag Archives: insurgency

Muslim Insurgency Escalates In Southern Thailand

The world’s focus has been upon terrorism in the Middle East, but at the same time new areas of violence are emerging such as in southern Thailand. Over the past several years, the predominantly Muslim area of south Thailand has become the scene of rebellion due to feelings the Thai government has discriminated and oppressed its Muslim population. It is now common practice in south Thailand for teachers, not children, to be escorted to and from school since a favorite target of Muslim insurgents is killing teachers. Yesterday, two teachers lagged behind their escort and were murdered. Following is a partial list of the daily activities in south Thailand:
Bomb blew up in a market place wounding 27
Three soldiers died trying to defuse an explosive
61 schools have been closed due to fear of terrorism
A military vehicle blew up with at least one dead
A police officer killed by insurgent

At some point the Thai government has to shift its focus to economic development and ensuring that Muslims are actively engaged in the political process. Resorting mainly to military action will not succeed if the population agrees with the goals of terrorists.

Ramadan In Thailand Offers Moments Of Peace

Thailand’s three southern provinces are the only areas in which Muslims constitute a majority of the population. After a month of fasting for Ramadan, Thai Muslims celebrated Idul Fitri, day to mark the end of the holiday, with renewed hope the violence which has wracked the provinces will soon end. A Muslim led insurgency which began in January, 2004 has led to the deaths of over 3,400 people. Thai Muslims charge the dominant Buddhist government refuses to acknowledge the rights of minorities. In response, the Thai army has been heavily engaged in military actions in the area. Mohammad Rahman, as he left his mosque said: “Today at least, we are not afraid of shootings or murder. I hope the momentum for less violence will continue.” Unfortunately, his area witnessed ten deaths within a week.

The Muslim led insurgency in southern Thailand is another example of what happens when governments fail to take a proactive stance in ensuring minorities enjoy equal rights. A resort to military attacks is one method of dealing with insurgencies, but so are education, economic assistance, and ensuring people are represented at all levels of government.