Tag Archives: Muslim insurgency

Thai Muslim Insurgents Infiltrate Armed Forces

Thailand is essentially a Buddhist nation, but their southern region is extensively composed of Muslims. During the past few years, the Muslim south has been witnessed the emergence of separatist forces who seek to break away and create a separate Muslim nation. Thai authorities were shocked to learn that three soldiers and seven policemen were supplying intelligence to insurgents in the deep south. This is the first time so many members of the security forces have ben directly linked to what has become an increasingly ugly and violent conflict. Many Muslims are c aught between fear of the militants and demands for loyalty on the part of the Thai government. The current situation began in January, 2004, when insurgents raided an army arms depot and seized over 400 weapons. It is estimated over 2000 people have died in the ensuing violence.

About 80% of the two million people living in Thailand’s three southern provinces are Muslim. These people claim lack of government assistance and less concern for economic and political rights which undoubtedly has provided insurgents support from many members of the local population. The area originally was a separate Muslim nation for hundreds of years before being taken over by Thailand. The question is whether or not the Thai government is willing to restore Muslim independence or create viable economic and political conditions which would entice people to remain under Thai rule.

Muslim Insurgency Continues In Thailand

Four Thai officials were driving home after a typical day at work when their car was suddenly attacked by a band of of men driving on motorcycles. After the firing ceased all four officials lay dead. This was just another example of the type of killing that goes on and on in the three southern provinces of Thailand where 80% of the people are Muslim. Muslims live in a nation where the overwhelming majority of people are of the Buddhist faith and since the current insurgency began by Muslims on January 1 2004 when men raided an army base and got 300 weapons, over 2,500 people have been killed. Muslim insurgents in the area tend to focus on officials, military members and teachers in order to get across their demands. When police arrived on this latest example of murder, a bomb detonated.

Muslims living in southern Thailand were once part of the nation of Pattani which was conquered by Buddhists in 1786 and incorporated into Thailand. The Thai government relies mainly on military action rather than encouraging economic development and a multicultural focus in daily life and schools.