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.