Thai Muslim Insurgents Meet In Geneva

Southern regions of Thailand are the scene of insurgent groups who are fighting for the rights of Muslims against what they regard is an oppressive central government. Prime Minister Samak Saundaravej noted yesterday there were reports at least two of the six militant groups are meeting in Geneva in order to find ways of internationalizing their struggle. Interior Minister Chaleerm Yubamrung admits the rebeliion is spreading and forming links with other forces, even those from Cambodia. “I admit it is too big an issue. It is not that I don’t pay enugh attention to it, but I am trying to find a way to solve th problem.” Army sources believe rebels are seeking ot obtain money and supplies from other areas of the world in order to improve their ability to conduct militant action

There are reports some Thai military met with insurgent representatives in 2006 and at that time the militants were not talking about southern provinces breaking away, but they may have changed their mind and are now seeking international aid in order to expand their activities and seek a separate southern Muslim nation.

A military solution will result in years of fighting and dying. The Thai government has to initiate an extensive political and economic program to win over Muslims in southern regions.