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Why is there an Insurgency in Southern Thailand?

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posted on Dec, 4 2006 @ 08:09 PM

Urges subjects to help steer nation from peril

His Majesty the King yesterday lent his moral support to the interim government of Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont and called on all his subjects to help it steer the country clear of threats and dangers. In the traditional annual address on the eve of his 79th birthday, His Majesty also emphasised the importance of efficient water management in order to cope with the flooding which has caused considerable damage to the country over recent months.

Above is the summary from Bangkok Post. Haven't been able to find a more full and comprehensive than Bkk Pst's rather condensed excerpt.

He spoke for 1½ hour, and said more than it takes 5 lines to render.

King Bhumipol addressed 2,000 members of the Royal Thai Military during a ceremony last night kicking off celebrations for his 79th birthday.

The King called for them to perform their roles with great care, justice and honesty.

He spoke of their role in securing a secure and peaceful atmosphere in Thailand and in protecting the nation.

Until the military coup of September 19, there were violent divisions in Thai society between forces for and against deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Current Prime Minister, former General Surayud Chulanont, and the coup leader General Sonthi Boonyaratglin were among those who attended the ceremony which lasted almost two hours.

Despite deep divisions in the country before the coup, King Bhumipol says Thailand remains strong because of the unity of the Thai people.

The Majesty gives his morale support to the appointed government - like he's supposed to. Not everybody seem to think so. The last few days up to his speech the media has been engaged in romours that he should denounce support for the coup makers.

The praise of "old people" doing an unselfish job for the good of the nation when in need, made it all seem very altruistic.

Yeah, cleaning up after Thaksin might be a tough job. There's almost news blackout on what government goes around with.

The government had come into office at a critical moment not for political reasons, he pointed out.

''People tend to expect the government to do everything for them,'' he said.

''The current government is running low on strength because it is very old,'' the King said jokingly, apparently referring to some members' previous remarks.

But he maintained that old age is a strength in the sense that elderly people are endowed with years of knowledge and experience, which gives them an edge over younger and inexperienced people.

And younger people should not look down upon their older counterparts, the King added.

''Ageing people, who always maintain righteousness and morality, enjoy an advantage over younger people,'' he said.

''Older people who apply their experience can be a tremendous help,'' he added.

But if ageing people fail to apply the advantage of their old age to good use, then they can be seen as childish in their ideas and attitudes, which could be dangerous to the country.

The King praised the Surayud cabinet, largely comprising elderly people, for their willingness to accept the cabinet posts at great personal sacrifice.

[the rest of] The King's Speech, Bkk Post


[edit on 4-12-2006 by khunmoon]

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 10:12 PM

The Nation: [color=3A5FCD] Budget bill sails through first reading

The National Legislative Assembly unanimously passed the first reading of the 2007 budget bill late Wednesday night.

The bill was passed at 10:55 pm with 141 votes. None NLA members voted against the bill.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Today the Governing Assembly will present the bill for the country.

1.56 billion baht is the budget. Equals 38 million US $. Most remarkable is the increase in the Defence budget, up from 86 billion baht to 115. A substantial hike of 34 %.

NLA member Visanu Krue-ngarm, who was deputy prime minister in the Thaksin government, said:

Bangkok Post >> Thursday December 07, 2006
''It cannot be denied that the government has given extra tasks to the military and is required to compensate for expenditures. This [increase in budget] is not a military build-up,'' he said.

NLA member Akkapol Sorasuchart of the Mahachon party hailed the 2007 spending plan for its accountability and cuts in populist schemes, especially the 41-billion-baht CEO-style governor scheme.

Citing the hike in the defence budget, he asked the government to brace itself for accusations that it was taking away from the poor and giving to the military.

''The government is better prepared. Show the public how carelessly the previous administration spent ... how it took the ice cream and left the grassroots the stick,'' he said. Mr Akkapol also called for an investigation into past spending that was not scrutinised by parliament, saying it amounted to billions of baht.

''Is it because some people did not get what they used to that they tried to cause trouble for the government and the Council for National Security?'' he asked.

However, NLA member Somkiat Onwimol voiced disappointment at the budget plan, saying it was quite bland.

''There should have been something big like a water resources study. It looks bland and I don't know what the coup was for,'' he said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Surayud Chulanont is the interim PM, who just after the coup was appointed to form a civil interim government operated under an interim constitution.

The de facto power is still held by the Council for National Security, the junta's initial post-coup interim military government as led by General Sonthi Boonyaratglin.

Surayud is one of the older people his majesty reffered to as those to be trusted because of their experience. He's a former member of King Bhumipol council of private counclors.

In brief should be noted that Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with more or less watertight slots between the legestative and representive, but the King has his own body of privies. It consists of 15 to 20 members, preferably from the walks of life that have served the country in defense or administration and mostly made up from generals and former cabinet members and the like. Considered the most revered, most trusted job to hold in all of the kingdom.

Officially without any power, off course they're not.
Remarks shed and one-liners are passed on to the press. Their role and the issues attended are deeply confidental, if not plain secret.
The press though can take mark and get ideas about what issues, by observing who is in and when, as well as the frequency rate those called into councel with the majesty appears with.

Born in Massaschuset, US, Bhumipol was called to be king only 22 years of age, after the sudden death of his brother Annanda, who spent most of the war years in exile in Switzerland, and only had a year in Bangkok before he was dead.

''We can't stop the public from raising doubts and questions as to why the Defence Ministry wants that huge amount of money this time. It is the ministry's duty to make the matter clear,'' said Teerana Bhongmakapat, an economist who advised the Chuan Leekpai administration.

Mr Teerana, of Chulalongkorn University, said he understood the military's need for a bigger budget to tackle insurgent violence in the deep South and terrorism threats.

Addressing the NLA yesterday, Gen Surayud said the 2007 budget, with a deficit of 146.2 billion baht, would not cause a burden for the future government.

He said the budget was prepared in compliance with His Majesty the King's sufficiency economy principle and would set an example for both the public and private sectors.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Please note Surayud's last remark. The King runs a whole row of projects entrpreneured through his proposal and advice. Among others a Royal rainmaking project. developed on a patented scheme of spraying different chemicals on rain clouds. But he also generously shares his ideas on a series of issues within society, social, economic, and general ethic issues on proper governing.

[color=0000EE]One of his ideas is to let suffiency guide the economy - rather than deficiency in expectation of gain.

In his agricultural projects, from crop growing to water management systems, he puts emphasis on using simpel and easy-to-maintain-technology. Which always also means traditional methods.
It must not be seen as an anti progress attitude. His ingenuity often adds to the traditional approach in a way to enhace the original.

So far previous governments have been more interested to deal with rural problems in terms of life changing investments. Like dam building, and others big scale projects, that's sure to generate spin offs, rather than going around with the pittiness of daily village lifes nesseceties.


[edit on 7-12-2006 by khunmoon]

[exuse me for messin' in the sandbox - gotta try out diff displays in these skins of new]
...find fontcolors 2 fit all modes, hard to find'em discreeete...
funny how i cant get colortags to work in the last paragraph -delete'em- ...just try this last time[color=EE0000]HERE! ...didn't work.. by the way whata u sink bout the blue fontcolor. How is to read in diff viewing modes?
[edit on 7-12-2006 by khunmoon]

[edit on 7-12-2006 by khunmoon]

[edit on 8-12-2006 by khunmoon]

posted on Apr, 16 2007 @ 07:00 AM
Been a while since last. Lot of stuff happening in the country though. Enough to divert the attention from the south.

Since December, when the stock-market went near collapse, bombs have been going off in Bkk, all the while promises of the interim government have so far not shown nothing but warm air.

Remember they promised at the coup of the 19th September, to return a democratic elected parliament within a year and in the mean time...

...write a new constitution,
...present it and explain it to the people,
...let them take it or leave it at a referendum
(we don't do it over if you reject - promised)
...and taken for granted you buy it, things are scheduled to be back on the democracy track again within a year.

Well, 7 month into the time-line the rosy promises is gone ..nothing, but more trouble around their initial problem: how to deal with, and dispose of, a popular preceding but ousted ruler, so he doesn't come back and stabs you. So little seems to be, or have been, done but --avoid the limelight!

Problem! Someone is getting impatient over the broken promises. And 'someone' is not just getting more but also united across social lines. The poor from NE united with the political conscious elite of educated. Problem running a democracy, is when only a single digit percent point of the populous have kind of idea what it's about, maybe 10 percent have some faint ideas, but the rest would know nothing about what it is about.

Curio: when first introduced in 1932, democracy quickly became a nickname for one of the more visible front-runners. Most people post war would connect it with Phibun as nothing but a revered nickname for their first dictator.

Latest Surayud, the PM interim, couldn't avoid the spotlight because he went to hospital. Just for a check-up of course, nothing wrong, just in case. Rumours or intended leaks let the outside world know he wouldn't mind, for the better of the country of course, getting sacked, if that was what it takes. Stressing and emphasising that nothing is wrong with his health.

Since the bombs (they still have frequent amateurs and copycats) a focus on their right to expression of opinion has come down hard on them, as freedom of expression in itself was an issue of the coup. When you decide to take a stand with Google and YouTube you kinda ask for it. The world may not know about daily repressions, first of all of electronic media, but when THE ?biggest? site on the web suddenly get closed, the world notices what goes on.

Anyway all this keeps the attention off from the restrictive, haunted and violence infested South with a rising death-toll total now amounting more than 1200 in a conflict for about as many days.

Let me briefly resume what's been established in this thread, is that the conflict of Southern Thailand is not a religious, but a cultural conflict on which the possible conspiracies and the true reason only can be speculated.

Since the coup the approach has been a greater deal of self governing and arming of loyal fractions among the locals. The latter policy is disputed as villagers being armed seems to become target for insurgents. Despite the efforts, an increase in incidents as well in number of victims seems to be the trend.

From the latest week we have reports of high level visits to the region --which seems to further spur violence-- the past week it was Sonthi visiting and next week Surayud is going.
Villagers parade charred body of victim for Gen Sonthi in Yala

Some 200 people paraded the charred remain of a woman who was shot dead and set ablaze through streets in Yala's Muang district to to protest the unending violence in the deep south.

Militants shot dead Patcharaporn Bunmart, 26, on Wednesday and burned her body in Yala's Muang district. The victim was on her way to work.

The villagers wrapped her body in a white cloth and placed it at the staircase leading into a government building where Gen Sonthi Boonyaratglin, chief of head of the Thai junta, was meeting with local leaders.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Insurgents kill 70 yo, fire at train

A 70-year-old Buddhist rubber farmhand was shot and burned by suspected Islamic militants as he drove his motorbike home from a market in Narathiwat's Rusoh district yesterday.

The incident happened days after a similar attack in Yala. Meanwhile, the railway service on the Narathiwat-Sungai Kolok route has been suspended after suspected insurgents shot at a train on Saturday.

However, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said he still intended to visit the South on Friday as planned.

Suspected militants shot Thongmee Maiman three times in the head and torso before setting his body on fire and taking his motorcycle. Passers-by were able to prevent the corpse from being badly burned, police said.

On Wednesday, Patcharaporn Boonmart, a 26-year-old Buddhist woman, was shot and burned beyond recognition in Yala province while Council for National Security chairman Sonthi Boonyaratglin was in the region.

About 200 angry villagers paraded her remains through the streets of Yala town to demand that Sonthi, who is also the army chief, put an end to the unrelenting bloodshed in the South.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


For the threads I have created about Thailand, I find it useful --while I still remember them-- to list them here.

First Foreigner to Die in The Ongoing Violence of Southern Thailand
BREAKING: First Military Coup in 14 Years Confirmed In Thailand
Suvarnabhumi, Bangkoks Corruption Ridden New State-of-Art Airport, Finally to Open
Thai Stocks Lose 23 bn $ in Value in Today's Session
Thailand's Beaches Disappear
Multiple Bombs in Bangkok, Three Killed in Blasts
SCANDAL: BKK's New Airport Loses Safety Certificate and Diverts Traffic back to Old One
MapTaPhut --When calculated Riscs turn into public Health Disaster--
Thailand TV Station Taken Over by Junta
Woman Gets her Arm Chopped Off While Chased by Police on Motorbikes
Popular Video-Hosting Site Banned ...meanwhile in a Religious Stampe a Woman is Trampled to Death
Splashin' Pics of Thai Songkran Water Festival

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