Troubles in the South – May 2006

Troubles in the South - May 2006
Troubles in the South index page

Separatist leaflet - May 16, 2006
Above is an antigovernment leaflet from the south. This unsigned leaflet was posted at mosques in Amphur Raman, Yala. On the top it reads "The truth that happens in the three southern provinces."
Counterclockwise from the top:
1. Muslim people are shot in their house. The caption reads "Shot even when staying at home."
2. Muslim people being shot at a mosque. The caption reads "Go to the mosque, get shot also."
3. A Muslim man just sits for a rest in front of his house and a policeman shoots him.
4. A man slits rubber and is shot. The caption reads "Even going to work, get shot also."
In the middle it says: "How long will we let them oppress us and when we will realize why these events happened and get up to resist the enemy. Is this religious?"
This leaflet contends that many of the random shootings in the south are in fact the work of the government to weed out suspected insurgents. This is an allegation increasing being put forth by the separatists.

Separatists in Raman, southern Thailand, hand out leaflets encouraging people to be anti-government - translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, May 6, 2006
Separatists in the deep south are handing out leaflets threatening religious leaders who have sided with the government. The leaflets also have pictures of Muslims being shot by police and military officers. A4-sized posters with anti government messages are displayed around the Raman district of Yala province.
The security forces' news unit said the leaflets and posters show attempts by southern separatists to fool the locals into believing that insurgency in the region is caused by the government. To mislead the local people, the assailants depicted, usually wear clothes that appear to be the uniforms of government officers.

Pas leaders deny protecting Thai fugitive - New Straits Times, May 29, 2006
Pas leaders yesterday denied a Bangkok Post report alleging some Pas members were among those protecting a Thai fugitive...

Privy Councilor suggests solutions for southern unrest based on "understanding, trust and development" - translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, May 26, 2006
Today, the Office of the National Security Council hosted a discussion of principles for solving the insurgency in the deep south. Guest speakers included Privy Councilor General Surayuth Chulanond, Supreme Court Secretary-General Charan Pakdeethanakul, and President of the Center for the Promotion of National Strength in Moral Ethics Paiboon Wattanasiritham.
General Surayuth highlighted the importance of engendering "understanding, trust and development" in the deep south. Sarayuth told the meeting that HRH the King always systematically studied the geography, culture, and traditions of areas before traveling to them to suggest solutions to their problems. Sarayuth further explained that HRH the King usually considered such problems holistically and then tried to solve each individual small problem with simple solutions that local people could understand and participate in. By solving such small problems first, HRH the King felt it was possible to develop the whole system up from the grassroots level.
Sarayuth added that HRH's development methods involved the creation of self-sufficiency at the family level first and then working up through the communal, district, and provincial levels to the nation as a whole. General Surayuth said that Thailand's civil service and general population needed to develop a better understanding of the problems in the deep south that harmonized more with the outlook of its residents.
General Sarayuth expressed a belief that multiculturalism should be promoted to bring peace to Thai society. He thought that civil servants and southern locals needed greater opportunities to share their ideas and experience in order to build a long-lasting mutual trust and faith. He also suggested that greater sincerity would be a major factor in solving local problems. Surayuth was also of the opinion that civil servants should learn to speak the local language and dialect in order to build closer relationships with the population of the region.

(Photo: Dr. Has for

Almost like being there: Yala Governor lends moral support - May 23, 2006
Dr. Has reports: On May 23 after a policeman was shot in the market of Krongpinang, the Yala governor, Mr. Boonsit Suwanrat (middle) and Krongpinang sheriff (right) come to visit and give moral support to teachers of Ban Luemu School which is in a red area.

(Photo: Dr. Has for

Almost like being there: Gathering in Krongpinang district - May 27, 2006
Dr. Has reports: On May 27, Krongpinang district organized a gathering of people wearing the yellow t-shirts for the campaign of save the energy and declare peaceful villages celebrating the 60th anniversary of the King's reign. Lots of government officials, people, and religious leaders join the fair. Some people carry the banner (above) that reads "Malaria disease... If you are careless, you might die..."

The Graveyard of the Unnamed - Bangkok Post, June 1, 2006
Tough editorial from the Post.
...To douse public suspicion the unidentified corpses might be those of slain Muslim villagers, a string of high-ranking officials quickly came out to discredit Mr Kraisak.
Caretaker Interior Minister Kongsak Wantana dismissed the claim as probably one of the normal Muslim graveyards that can be found in all Muslim communities there. It turned out to be a big graveyard run by a Chinese charity foundation in Pattani - which shows how much we can pin our hopes on the man in charge of national security.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Wannasathit, meanwhile, played things down by describing the graveyard as an "old story" no one should get excited about, for it was just one of those places where sop rai yart, or mystery corpses unclaimed by relatives, were buried.
Then Pattani Governor Panu Uthairat, in his effort to calm local anxieties, backed police reports that most of the unidentified corpses were mostly those of illegal migrant workers.
The message was: these dead people are not our people, so no need to bother.
If there is anything more shocking than Mr Kraisak's disclosure, it is the responses from these fiercely self-defensive officials.
...In any society, peace and order are not possible without the rule of law. And the rule of law is impossible when the government and its police still routinely allow a large number of people to die without trying to identify them, to establish the cause of their deaths and, in cases of murder, to nab the culprits so as to ensure that justice is done.
Ask the police, and they endlessly cite lack of budget and personnel needed for body identification; so they have to lump these mystery corpses together and let charity organisations take care of them.
When space runs out, these bodies will be exhumed and cremated to make room for a new batch of mystery corpses. With cremation, any remaining evidence is lost.
We can imagine many police officers getting richer from all this.
...It is an open secret that the Thai police strongly resist forensic science, preferring to use their old ways of squeezing confessions from suspects, which often involve beatings and torture...

Thai Interior Minister allays fear after 500 unmarked graves unearthed in South - TNA, May 29, 2006 Migrant workers in 300 unmarked graves in Thai south: official - AFP, May 27, 2006
Some 300 unmarked graves found two months ago in Thailand's restive south appear to hold bodies of slain migrant workers from neighboring Cambodia and Myanmar, Thai authorities said...
Abhisit calls on Govt to explain alleged mass graves - The Nation, May 28, 2006
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva Sunday called on the government to explain alleged mass graves in the deep South which over 500 bodies were reportedly found.
Caretaker senator Kraisak Chonhavan made the allegations on Saturday, saying the graves had been found in southern border provinces by Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunan, acting director of the Forensic Science Institute...

On the forum: Muangthai rai Subdah 2
100 schools in Narathiwat to close indefinitely - TNA, May 21, 2006

(Photo: Mr. John for
Almost like being there: First day of school - May 16, 2006

Mr. John reports: The atmosphere of taking care and safety for teachers and students in Yala for the first day of opening the semester on May 16. The army, police and volunteers from each area maintain strict security. In the morning, they will picking up and sending off students as usual and another team will reconnoiter and another will stay at the areas at risk of violence. They will check at the border of the town and the routes into villages. This is to make teachers, students and other people confident.

(Photo: Mr. John for

Almost like being there: Delivering guns to volunteers - May 16, 2006
Mr. John reports: Gen. Napon Boontap, Deputy of the Chief Royal Guard and his team visit the King's project for model farms and delivers 50 short guns to volunteers of the Piyamitr Villages (formerly the Chinese Malayu Communist village) of which are three villages. The guns are to be used for the villagers to protect themselves and the nation.

(Photo: Mr. John for

Almost like being there: Finding guns - May 14, 2006
Mr. John reports: Soldiers of 41st Yala and Special Soldier 11th investigate three guns with the bullets found in a bag hidden under a tree at a pavilion near a road in Thambon Kortortuela, Amphur Raman, Yala. The result of the investigation is that there are three war weapons--AK-47 and 28 of .762 bullets. The officers brought the guns to the science department in zone 45 of Yala. It is believed that these guns were used many times before.

(Photo: Mr. John for

Almost like being there: Cleaning the statue - May 11, 2006
Mr. John reports: May 11, 2006 - Captain Pisai Sukwan, Commander of Regiment 3, Chulaporn Camp, Narathiwat Province take more than 60 soldiers and 50 students to clean the area of the Buddha Park at Wat Khaokong, Thambon Lampoo, Narathiwat where there is a Thaksinmingmongkon Buddha that Buddhists in three southern provinces and Singaporeans and Malaysians worship. This is an activity for Visakha Bucha Day and for the 60th anniversary of the King's reign.

(Photo: Mr. John for

Almost like being there: Bomb crater - May 11, 2006
Mr. John reports: An officer investigates a crater in the road at Saiburi-Krapor Mu 4, Thumbon Kadunong, Amphre Saiburi, Pattani Province. Last night 8 army men were passing by and an explosion injured two of them.

(Photo: Dr. Has for

Malayu house - May 11, 2006
Dr. Has reports: Here is Malayu-style house that is rarely seen nowadays...

(Photo: Mr. John for

Shooting in the south - May 11, 2006
Mr. John writes: On May 7, the bad guy shot Mr. Sarawut Kotan, 38-year-old volunteer of village safety from Mu 7, Thambon Borthong, Amphure Nongjik. He died on the spot as he and his wife were driving the motorcycle carrying rubber. The situation in the south comes back to be more violent again before the schools open.

Bombs continuously harass S. Thailand - Xinhua, May 6, 2006
Drug addiction behind insurgency in S. Thailand - Xinhua, May 6, 2006
..."Segregation and drugs have been long standing problems in the region," Chidchai told journalists, referring to Thailand's southernmost provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani. "It has been learned that an influential group has given financial support to the militants..."

News from the south - May 2, 2006

Mr John reports: On May 2, people from the Alliance to Restore Democracy in Songkhla gathered in front of Had Yai Railway Station to watch a broadcast of the rally that was organized at Lumpini Park in Bangkok concerning "Accepting the King's speech."

(Photo: Mr. John for

(Photo: Mr. John for
Left: People who came to the assembly in Songkhla also donated money for the next political movement meeting.
Right: The Department of Medical Soldiers, Royal Thai Army, organized the Soldier Medical Project in the three southernmost provinces giving medical treatment to people at Ban Juenue-rae Mu 3 , Thambol Budi, Amphur Muang, Yala. Lots of people came to be checked for injury, pulling out teeth, and general medical checkups and medicine.

(Photo: Mr. John for

'Reliable evidence' found of insurgent camps in Malaysia - Bangkok Post, May 4, 2006
An intelligence unit says it has obtained reliable evidence backing a recent report that 50 female members of a separatist group were trained across the border in Malaysia. An intelligence source said security forces had been advised to be on high alert after they verified recently discovered evidence indicating that female insurgents were trained in Malaysia...

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