Archive for the 'Terror In South' Category

Korn upset with Thailand’s ranking in terrorism risk index, meanwhile 2 more beheadings in the South

After his mistake about Thai Airways (read here), the Finances Minister, again, lost a good opportunity to shut his mouth.

Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij on Wednesday expressed concerns over Thailand’s ranking in Maplecroft’s Terrorism Risk Index (TRI), where the country slipped into the extreme risk category for the first time.

While Iraq is ranked as the country most at risk from terrorist attacks for the second year running, ranked 11th last year Thailand has now dropped two places in the ranking and into the extreme risk category.

Terrorism incidents in Thailand’s restive Muslim south – such as the October 2009 bomb attacks in Sungai Kolok – largely account for the country’s rating.

Korn said he was upset with the ranking, as the country has shown development in many areas in the past year. However, terrorism is still holding the country down. (Nation)

Just the day before :

In Narathiwat, two soldiers were killed and beheaded and one injured in an ambush yesterday afternoon in Koke Sator in Rueso district.

Sgt Nakrop Sommunna and Pvt Suriya Kongsui were killed when their patrol of seven soldiers was attacked by about 10 insurgents hiding in a rubber plantation.

The two decapitated bodies were found after the 15-minute firefight. Their M16 rifles were stolen by the attackers. (Bangkok Post)

We know very well what bothers Korn. Terrorism is bad for business. Terrorism is bad for the image… For public relations. And because this government is only about image and illusions, then Korn would like to ban the word “terrorism”.

No more “terrorism”. Then no more “index”, then no more concerns. Then business as usual.

It’s the classic wishful thinking of many thai officials.

Like childen, they are upset when the reality refuses to match their fantasies.

What is happening in the South is indeed a source of real concern for any investors with at least 2 neurons connected.

Even if it displeases the alleged Finances Minister.

South, another black day : several attacks, 10 deads

Suspected militants opened fire inside in a mosque in Thailand’s restive Muslim-majority south Monday, killing at least 10 worshippers and wounding another 13, police said.

Up to five gunmen armed with assault rifles slipped through a back door into the mosque in Cho-ai-rong district in troubled Narathiwat province, a police official said.

“They opened fire indiscriminately at about 50 worshippers inside the mosque. Ten people were killed, including the local imam,” the official said, adding that all the wounded were in a serious condition. (Bangkok Post)

This attack follows a string of others that happened in the last few days.

While we focus on the thai economy and the scandals that start to tarnish the Abhisit’s administration… the massacre continues in the South.

Unabated.

Abhisit promised some “changes” in the South following the artificial euphoria of his election (smoke and mirror)… He’s unable to deliver.

Just before the attack against the mosque, Abhisit was giving a speech in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he is optimistic he will see an end to the violence in the South and promised new opportunities for people in the restless border provinces after talks with his Malaysian counterpart on Monday

Mr Abhisit was speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

“Let me reiterate that my government’s approach is based on the belief that the key to peace and security is justice and opportunities,” he said. (Bangkok Post)

Justice ? Justice ? Opportunities ? ! As usual, Abhisit loves big -but empty- words… It’s enough to see how thai courts have closed the Tak Bai case…

Court clears security officials over Tak Bai deaths

In one of the most controversial verdicts passed in decades, a court yesterday cleared security officials of misconduct in the October 2004 Tak Bai incident in which 85 Malay-Muslim protesters died at the hands of the authorities. (Nation)

That happened one week ago…

Again and again, Abhisit should shut his mouth, and stop toying with “concepts”, get back on earth and handle the reality. On the ground.

Enough of the fantasies, enough of the Rabbit Hole, enough of the lies, enough of the double-speak, enough of the scandalous gap between reality and statements, enough of the Potemkin Village…

Conflict in the south : a striking report from Al Jazeera

Why “striking” ? Because made on the ground. Because we don’t see such report on thai TVs. Because victims are shown… victims of torture by thai military… because some people say that so called “spokemen” in Indonesia do not represent the real insurgents… because of the last scene, with the muslim call to prayer on friday… interrupted by… loud thai disco music.

Such report helps to understand that this conflict is likely to continue… for a very long time.

And actually, looking at history… it never really ended (since the annexion of southern regions by Bangkok).

What changes through times… are the means and the intensity of the struggle.

But the fundamental truth is : Bangkok’s authority is rejected by the muslim population of the south.

We can look at the problem by all angles… the population in Pattani, Yala… is not thai and doesn’t like Thailand. And Thailand gives them back the same… feeling.

To reconcile the two communities would take a long time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PACjeINxbcM&

South horror : 2 soldiers and a couple beheaded

2 attacks occured this week end in the South with beheadings… In 3 weeks, 6 people have been beheaded (the previous attacks occured on february 2, read here).

Suspected Muslim separatists killed and then beheaded two soldiers on Friday in Thailand’s rebellious Muslim-majority south, a police officer said.

The soldiers were shot dead on their motorcycles as they guarded teachers going to school in Yala, one of the three southern provinces caught up in a separatist insurgency in which more than 3,000 people have been killed since 2003.

“At least 10 gunmen using army weapons ambushed the group, killing two soldiers. Then they beheaded them and took away their guns and bullet-proof jackets,” the officer told reporters. (Reuters)

A group of insurgents gunned down and beheaded a couple of local rubber farmers in the southern border province of Yala on Sunday morning.

The two victims, indentified as Kongphet Janyarerk and his wife Yenjai, were brutally killed by the gunmen while they were travelling to work at a rubber plantation in Yala’s Raman district. The gunmen decapitated them and took their heads away before escaping from the area. (Bangkok Post)

From january 2004 to december 2007, 35 people have been beheaded, according to an official count.

Then in 2008, I count 6 beheadings.

Terror in the south : 2 soldiers beheaded

While our Prime Minister is doing ski jumping in Davos, so proud to be invited to this elite club, the reality rings some bells. On the ground.

The economy is tanking… and the terror continues in the South, with this latest gruesome attack.

Violence continued Monday in a deep south province when suspected militants killed and burnt to death two soldiers in Pattani’s Yarang district.

Police who were alerted at about 2pm and rushed to the scene on a road in the district found two burnt bodies. Their motorcycle was also burnt.

Police found that Sgt Niasun Niwae, 30, was beheaded. His body was riddled with bullets. Not far, police found body of volunteer ranger Chue Chotirat, 30, who was shot and burnt to death. His head was nearly cut off. (Nation)

More than 35 people have been beheaded from january 2004 to january 2008.

Even though the violence and the number of casualties have declined (see the paper of Bangkok Pundit with stats)… we still have fanatics on the ground who are still ready (and willing) to use horrible tactics to scare the population.

Those methods are terrorists.

And It would be foolish to think that the situation is solved in the South… when such people are still on the loose.

The South remains a political liability.

And Abhisit should start to come back on earth, and to deal with real problems, instead of launching crusade… against on line prostitution

South : “systematic torture used by government forces”

Thai security forces pursuing a counter-insurgency campaign in the country’s violence-plagued southern provinces systematically engage in torture and other ill-treatment, Amnesty International revealed in a report released at a press conference in Bangkok on Tuesday 13 January 2009.

The 37-page report, Thailand: Torture in the southern counter-insurgency, documents people being brutally beaten, burned with candles, buried up to their necks in the ground, subjected to electric shocks, having needles stuck into various parts of their bodies, sodomized and exposed to intense heat or cold.

Survivors of torture told Amnesty that the most common torture techniques they faced were beatings, being kicked or stomped on, and having plastic bags placed over their heads until they nearly suffocated. Amnesty International established that at least four people have died as a result of torture.

Amnesty International has called on the Royal Thai Government to crack down on such practices immediately and to ensure accountability for any security forces engaged in torture. (Amnesty)

Another very embarrassing report for the thai authorities… Nothing happened in the past (after the Krue Se Mosque massacre, Tak Bai massacre, etc.)… so let’s see how the new Prime Minister Abhisit will handle the situation in the South…

Afterall, the Democrat Party can be seen as virgin… The violences started under Thaksin, the Krue Se and Tak Bai massacres happened under Thaksin… Then the violence continued under the Junta (september 2006 to december 2007).

Let’s see if Abhisit can deliver the “change” he promised.

Political reminder : New government = 2 bombs in the south

A crual political reminder. Just before the government composition was officially announced, 2 bomb attacks occured in the South. 1 killed and 11 wounded.

YALA

Four were injured when a bomb exploded in front a hotel in this southern border province Saturday evening.

Police said the explosion occurred at 6:30 pm in front of the Park View Hotel in Yala downtown.

Police said a homemade bomb hidden inside a pick-up truck exploded partially apparently because part of the circuit failed to be ignited. (Nation)

PATTANI

A bomb exploded in front of a department store in this southern border province at 6:10 pm Saturday, killing one person and injuring seven others.

Police said insurgents hid a five-kilogramme homemade bomb inside a motorcycle and parked it in front of the Pattani Supermarket and detonated it with a mobile phone. (Nation)

It can’t be a coincidence. Even though the level of violence has been reduced, the conflict in the South is still a burning political issue. Another one that the new Prime Minister Abhisit will have to handle.


Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.