Troubles in the South – April 2007

(Photo: Monkey for

Scenes from the deep south
Monkey reports: This is a photo of Ban Bangpoo School, Amphur Yaring, Pattani when it was burning in mid-April.

(Photo: Monkey for

Monkey reports: The atmosphere of the Red Cross festival in Pattani that organized from May 5-14. There were many activities and contest of Mikayhoolu, OTOP products from Government and private organizations. The police and military provided strict control to protect against the unrest and get good cooperation from the people.
[GWR adds about "Mikayhoolu": Your front page item on the Red Cross Festival in Pattani. Likae is a Central Thai popular operatic style that involves poetic recitals backed by music. Manorah is the nearest thing in Buddhist southern Thailand, while Muslims in the deep south have Likae Hulu. ]

(Photo: Monkey for

Pattani street - April 20, 2007
Monkey reports: Songkran in Pattani is more quiet than many years in the past because people are not confident that the authorities can provide security. People go out to another provinces to throw water instead. However the officers are not neglectful and still strictly control in the area, especially the seven dangerous days of Songkran in Pattani.

Deep South media tours - April 28, 2007
GWR writes: ...the following reports... do point out the deficiencies of the government's public relations efforts in the region.
Is there hope for Thailand's south: A press tour - Thai Smile Coup to take over big screen?
The correspondent/blogger also seems somewhat naive in thinking that such a classroom would not normally be used for language teaching. It looks about ten times better than some I've taught in.
It also looks like they got no farther than a Hat Yai temple (the helicopter picture looks like a downtown temple I know with a municipal school.) They won't learn much about the issue there!

A tale of two newspapers

PM rules out forging peace with militants - Bangkok Post, April 21, 2007
The government will never make peace with the insurgents although it remains committed to a reconciliatory approach in rebuilding trust among the ''good people,'' Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said during his tour of the South yesterday. Gen Surayud was adamant the solution to the southern insurgency was an emphasis on non-violent methods, which he said the government was adopting to regain the trust of the majority of law-abiding people in the region.
''But for the villains, the peaceful approach is out of the question,'' he said...
He also welcomed the suggestion of an amnesty for sympathisers of the insurgent groups put forth by Fourth Army commander Viroj Buacharoon.
Lt-Gen Viroj earlier proposed the introduction of a law similar to the now-abolished Anti-Communist Act to grant amnesty to insurgent supporters.
But the commander said the amnesty would be passed only if the supporters showed sincerity in re-integrating themselves into society and gave full cooperation to the government...

Surayud pushes amnesty in South - PM wants to draw militants back into 'legal fold' in hope of restoring peace - The Nation, April 21, 2007
Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has asked officials to explore the possibility of granting an amnesty to militants in the Malay-speaking South as part of a government strategy to restore peace in the Muslim-majority region, which has been plagued by more than three years of almost daily killings and violence.
"At the policy level, I have no objection," Surayud told reporters. "I want the issue to be clearly discussed at the local level and accepted by all parties concerned. The government is ready to enact the [amnesty] law in the future."
Surayud said the goal was to draw the insurgents back into the country's "legal fold"...

Thailand rejects U.S. help to quell insurgency - CNN, April 19, 2007
Thailand's powerful army chief has rejected an American offer to help quell an Islamic insurgency in the country's south, saying his forces can cope with the situation that has claimed more than 2,000 lives in three years...

(Photo: Monkey for

Krue Se Mosque - April, 2007
Monkey writes: The third anniversary of the incident at Krue Se Mosque, Amphur Muang Pattani. The military and safety officers still strictly control because they are afraid the situation will happen again. Meanwhile people still travel as usual, but in fewer numbers because they are not confident in safety.

(Photo: Monkey for

Burned school - May, 2007
Monkey writes: The state of Ban Bangpoo School, Amphur Yaring, Pattani after the insurgents burned it. Both stories of the building were damaged. This makes people in the area feel depressed because the area is in community of Bangpoo municipality where there are many people live and work. People did not think something like this would happened.

(Photo: Monkey for

(Photo: Monkey for

Protection in the south - April 10, 2007
Monkey reports: Strict control: the atmosphere of military protection in Amphur Nongjik, Pattani. This year, the officers cooperated with the military and police to strictly control at the entrance of Nongjik District office because they are afraid of the unrest situation may spread there from Amphur Panarae.

A burned body illustrates martial law in Thailand - Scoop, April 13, 2007

(Photo: Dr. Has for

Circumcision in the deep south - April 11, 2007
Dr. Has reports: Chansiew Medical and Public Health, Pattani branch, cooperates with TAO and municipality in Pattani to promote the cultural Sunat activity [circumcision] the children in the three southern provinces and nearly provinces. This is done in April before the new semester and is free of charge.

Thai Army Admits Government-backed Militia Shot Dead Four Muslim Youths - AP, April 10, 2007
A Thai army spokesman acknowledged Tuesday that four Muslim youths riding in a pickup truck had been shot dead by government-backed village defense volunteers, rather than Islamic insurgents as authorities had originally announced.
The defense volunteers panicked and opened fire on the truck when they thought they were being attacked on Monday, said army spokesman Col Akara Thiprot...

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