Thailand: Two Revolutions, No Waiting

February 4,2007

The violence in the south continues. Even heavy police presence cannot
contain it. For example, officials from Gulf Arab states visited an Islamic
college in the south recently, escorted by Thai officials and police. Fifteen
minutes after this group left, a bomb went off, wounding three policemen.
Islamic terrorists continue to kill Buddhists in the south, and more Buddhists
are taking the hint and leaving. Moslems are also getting killed, to discourage
cooperation with the government.  Schools are still burning. The
government is trying to work with religious leaders to address local complaints,
but that does not connect with the terrorist groups. If dead religious leaders
begin showing up, that will end any cooperation with the Moslem clergy. 

January 28, 2007: Martial law was lifted in 41 of 76 provinces, mainly those
considered more loyal to the wealthy and educated families living in and around
the capital. This crowd was behind the coup that overthrew populist, and
popular (among the 80 percent of Thais that are now well off) prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra last September.  Thaksin did more for the poor than he did for the urban swells, and the majority out in the countryside are unhappy, and would like to get Thaksin back.

The new government has done nothing for the majority of Thais, or anyone else. To make matters worse, the new military government has done nothing to deal with the Moslem violence. In addition, the New Years Eve bombings in the capital go unsolved, as the 19 people arrested for that, were released for lack of evidence. The government had blamed Thaksin supporters, but no evidence could be found, even after rounding up the usual suspects. Meanwhile, the exiled Thaksin is using his popularity, communication skills and money to keep his name in the minds of Thais. The government fears that Thaksin may come back and win another election, or stage his own coup.

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