In the Thai Deep South: Burying Gunmen as “Martyrs”

Insurgents have ‘a deep pain’ in their hearts – Bangkok Post, February 18, 2013
…Venting anger at the Muslim mourners for honouring the fallen insurgents will not change the attitude of those who support the insurgency cause.
Nor will the arrest of the Pattani students suspected of uploading the video clip on YouTube help in the attempt to win the hearts and souls of the local Muslims which is as important as winning the insurgency war.
The “healing process” extended to families of the dead insurgents by the government is an approach in the right direction, although it was widely misinterpreted when it was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung. Although no compensation will be paid for the deaths of their loved ones, the families are in need of counselling and understanding about why they were killed…

[Both The Nation and the Post have had interesting articles that give some context to the problems in the Thai Deep South. While the Thai English-language press is not known for its trenchant analysis, in these cases it is used to pressure the government–one in a series of Thaksin-directed governments. Each has seen an increase in violence in the south.
These governments, within weeks of coming to power, always begin re-branding the problems in the south as the work of bandits or those involved in the drug trade (always code for “they can be summarily killed”).
The anger the “martyr” video causes in the Thai world is that it shatters this comfortable conceptualization of the problem by claiming a broader support for the activities of the insurgents. It makes it harder for the public to sanction brutal action when the insurgents are not simply misguided youngsters plied with drugs by local godfathers.]

Also recently: Thailand: Insurgents Should Cease Attacks on Civilians
Also recently: Insight into Thai separatism: Tak Bai radicalized a generation and relief militant dies as he faced torture if taken alive

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