Troubles in the South – August 2006

Troubles in the South - August 2006
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(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)

Above: Damage at Islamic Bank of Thailand, branch 1


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)
Bank bombings in the deep south - August 31, 2006
More on Troubles in the South

Left:
Damage at Islamic Bank of Thailand, branch 2


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)

Dr. Has reports: Today at 11:30 there were bomb explosions at many banks in Yala. In this picture (above) is Islamic Bank of Thailand, branch 1. Before the incident occurred, the bank officers were inform that there will have bomb, but they did not tell the customers so the explosion caused many injuries. At the Islamic Bank Branch 2 officers found the bomb and then told customers to get out of the bank.


(Photo: Mr. John for 2Bangkok.com)

Mr. John reports: The officers investigate the place where the assailant shot Mr. Son Piyayak, a resident at Soi Tan2, Nakuea Road, Amphur Muang Pattani. He was shot at his ear on Pattani-Narathiwat line 42 Mu 3 Ban dee, Thambon Barahom Amphur Muang Pattani.

23 Yala banks hit by bomb blasts - The Nation, August 31, 2006
Muslim militants launched 23coordinated time bomb attacks at commercial banks in this southern province Thursday, killing at least one man and severely injuring at least four bank customers, police said...



(Photo: Mr. John for 2Bangkok.com)

Almost like being there: Burned car - September 5, 2006
Mr. John reports: Burned car of Jaktra Promkaewr, 42-year-old deputy chief of Thambon Bangkhao, Amphur Nongjik , Pattani. The assailants tried to shoot him while he was drinking tea, but he shot back at them and then two more assailants shot him while he was running to his car parked in front of a tea shop. The assailants intercepted him and he shot back until he was out of bullets. He escaped injury but finally the assailants shot the car's windows, took his guns inside, and burnt his car.


Many in the army believe that the car bomb was intended to drag "Pa" Prem’s faction into confrontation with government - translated and summarized from Komchadluek, August 27, 2006
Caretaker PM Thaksin is completely convinced that at least four army officers were involved in an apparent bomb plot assassination attempt against him last week. Some hours after the plot was discovered, he suddenly sacked General Pallop Pinmanee from his post as Deputy Commander of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC). General Pallop is a personal friend of Major-General Chamlong Srimuang--a leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) [an organization that opposes Thaksin’s premiership].
Many in the Royal Thai Army believe that the bomb plot was a set-up by the government to discredit certain army factions and to take the public’s attention off the beatings of ordinary people that have happened at recent protests in the Prime Minister’s presence. Another benefit from such a set-up might also be to gain sympathy for the Prime Minister, by making the public believe that the assassination had been plotted by factions in the army. The sacking of a top general was carefully planned to create a vacuum into which a high-ranking policeman might step as the vanguard of a coming "police state." This belief was probably strengthened by a gathering of grass roots Thaksin supporters who rallied in front of "Pa" Prem’s residence to demand that he spare PM Thaksin’s life. This spectacle occurred the day after the bomb plot, at the same time that a large number of high-ranking Thai citizens had assembled to help General Prem celebrate his 86th birthday. It was obviously an attempt to discredit Prem [in his role as the figurehead of the Royal Thai Army] and make it look like he had authorized the bomb plot assassination. ["Pa" Prem’s full name is General Prem Tinasulanonda (Chairman of the Privy Council and a leading statesman)]
With the nation currently "all at sixes and sevens," it seems many recent incidents are driving the army towards a psychological point of no return at which they might just blunder into a face off with the present government.

Editorial cartoon - Krungtep Turakit, September 5, 2006

Title: The masters' gathering

Master Anand, Master Prem, Master Prawase [Dr Prawase Wasi - Social critic Prawase gave a speech on Sunday at Thammasat University entitled "10 rules for the new PM." The speech was actually a critique of the failings of Thaksin.]

They chant "Get out, get out, get out" at a cursing rite. Note the square box--square for so-called "square-face" Thaksin--with swords stuck in it.

"Strictly check"

Right: Strictly check - Manager, September 5, 2006
The first day of bank opening in the five amphurs of Yala [after the multiple bombings last week], police and military search customers strictly. Meanwhile people go to the banks as usual.


(Source: Manager)

Bank bombing headlines - September 1, 2006

Thailand still baffled by insurgency - AFP, August 31, 2006
Thailand's army chief has said government forces still do not know who they are fighting as they try to hunt down Islamic insurgents behind a wave of deadly violence in the south...


(Source: Krungthep Thurakit)

Communist's revenge - August 28, 2006
On August 14, General Sondhi Boonyaratklin, Thai Army Commander-in-Chief, speculated that the Thai Communist party was behind some of the violence in the deep south. Several editorial cartoons took the unlikely speculation to comment on Thai "disunity."
Above: Krungthep Thurakit editorial cartoon, August 17, 2006: This is why the Communist party is reborn
Left side: (on the tombstone) The grave of the Communist party (dialogue) "What! We took more than 50 years to try to disunite the Thai people, but did not succeed. Thaksin has only taken five  years and the people are disunited already."
Right side: (on the tombstone) Chinese bandit communist (dialogue) "That's right comrade, this challenges us, so we have to have revenge..."
Intelligence unit admits leading bombmaker once stayed in Thailand - translated and summarized from Thai Rath, August 15, 2006
After the police in the UK recently disrupted an airplane terror plot, the whole world is still frightened that such an attack might yet take place. The Thai Government is alert to the possibilities of such an attack and has increased security measures at high-risk locations such as tourist attractions and embassies.
On August 14 at 10:30am at a restaurant near Bangkok’s Samsen Train Station, Taikorn Polsuwan [coordinator of the government’s intelligence network for North-Eastern Thailand] announced that he had recently been informed that there was a current plot to commit a terrorist attack in Bangkok.
Major-General Atthakrit Thareechat, Commander of the Special Branch Division 3, has already been assigned to increase security measures at the high-risk embassies of countries like the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States.
Pol. Major-General Panya Mamen [Commander of the Tourist Police] has put into place new security measures at tourist attractions and also at airports that are likely to be frequented by Israeli, English, and American travelers.
There are also rumors circulating that a leader of the Hezbollah terrorist group--named as Sayid Mobin--was hiding out in Thailand three months ago. Sayid claimed he was in Thailand for the purposes of "cultural exchange" between Thailand and the countries of the Middle East. During his visit to Thailand he stayed in the South and also traveled to other provinces on occasion. This terrorist is a master of name changes and Sayid Mobin is just one of his assumed aliases. It has also been reported that he was the bomb making expert behind the "Truck Bomb" attack in Thailand on March 17.


(Photo: Mr. John for 2Bangkok.com)

Almost like being there: Shot in the deep south - August 10, 2006
Mr. John reports: Police officers took Mr. Mahamazabuding Buenae, 25-year-old, a resident of 40/4 Mu.3 Thambon Korlum, Amphur Yarang, Pattani, to the hospital after he was shot seriously. This incident took place on August 10 at Romklao Road, Mu 6, Thambon Satengnok, Amphur Muang, Yala.

Militant attacks ‘unlikely’ in Bangkok - IHT, August 11, 2006
...In a recent interview with Jane’s Information Group, PULO’s foreign affairs spokesman, Kasturi Mahkota, said the organization had no interest in launching any attack on the capital...
Iron women quelling the southern thieves - translated and summarized from Thai Rath, July 28, 2006


Right: Military officers training 140 women in Pattani to use weapons to fight southern insurgents. The women call themselves the Satree Lek Prab Jone Tai group. [Satree means women, lek means iron, prab means quell, jone means thief, and tai means southern. So the name of the group means Iron women quelling the southern thieves.]


(Photo: Thai Rath)


Southern unrest has wide impact - Northern Muslims want solutions - translated and summarized from Phujatkan, July 31, 2006
Insurgency in the three southern border provinces and Songkhla Province has also affected Muslims in the north. Haji Kasem, an imam in Chiang Mai Province, recently said that other local people were no longer as friendly to Muslims as they used to be. Government officials have also become suspicious of Muslims in the province. Chiang Mai’s Muslim population is descended from Muslims in China and Pakistan who have mostly lived in the province for a long time. Haji Kasem also said that local Muslims want to live in peace with the rest of the Chiang Mai population without suffering any negative impact from the southern unrest.
On July 30, a man was shot dead on the Waeng to Sungai Golok highway [in Narathiwat Province’s Waeng District]. He was identified as Asawa Soramad, a former soldier. No evidence was found at the scene.
PM scoffs at Pulo's threat to hit cities - Bangkok Post, August 10, 2006
Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday poured scorn on a threat by the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) to attack Bangkok and Phuket, saying it was just propaganda. Mr Thaksin downplayed rumours that the insurgent group based in the South was ready to switch its targets from the southern region to major cities such as Bangkok and Phuket.
The threat was brought to light following a recent interview of a senior member of Pulo with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)...

Thai police identify 700 insurgent suspects in southern unrest - Bernama, August 4, 2006
Police in southern Thailand have identified about 700 suspects believe to be insurgents involved in the daily unrest in three provinces there.
Region Four Police Chief Adul Saengsingkeaw said they are prepared to issue warrants of arrest to the suspects but manpower constraints were hampering their effort...


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)

Almost like being there: Safety meeting - August 2, 2006
On August 2 at 2:00pm, the Krongpinang Sherriff called school administrators, military, Krongpinang police, frontier police 3301, kamnan (head of district) and head of villages in Amphur Krongpinang for a meeting to set a plan for teacher safety. The sheriff said the assailants will increase violence to attact official places and they will be dressed like officers so people must note the name, rank, and position of the people they talk to. Sometimes the assailants used the same vehicles as officers and sometimes they use women or groups of women to operate. Meanwhile, the Krongpinag Police received a fax (probably from the Royal Thai Police) to be careful in Amphur Krongpinang and Bannangstar because the assailant moves near the Talohsumae mountain and Ban Luemu in Krongpinang.

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