Troubles in the South – July 2005

Troubles in the South - July 2005

Troubles in the South index page



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

Almost like being there: Voting in Yala - July 31, 2005

Dr. Has reports: On July 31, 2005 the three southern border provinces had TAO (Thambon Administrative Organization) elections did other provinces. Lots of people went out to exercise their rights although there are still serious event in the area. This shows people do not not agree with or believe in the the separatists.

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


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


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



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

Almost like being there: Yala - July 29, 2005
Dr. Has reports: In Amphur Raman, Yala, people volunteer to help with security for the thumbon (sub-district)... This work interests lots of people. One of reason is the high allowance, 7000 baht per month.


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


Ten killed in Thai south in worst violence for months - AFP, July 28, 2005

Information Act seen full of loopholes - Law researchers call for major changes - Bangkok Post, July 27, 2005
The Official Information Act contains many loopholes that allow government agencies to cover up damaging information on environmental and health hazards to avoid responsibility and protect businesses, environmental and law researchers said yesterday.
When it came to serious incidents, such as the bird flu outbreak and toxic chemical leakages, relevant agencies often bypassed the law and concealed information that should have been disseminated to the public for safety reasons, Pantyp Ramasoota, a professor at Mahidol University's Asean Institute for Health Development, told a seminar on environmental governance and public participation organised by the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) yesterday...

Almost like being there: Had Yai - July 26, 2005

(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)
Dr. Has reports: Community College of Yala transferred its training program from a hotel in Yala to Had Yai, Songkhla. This is because the experts and trainees are not confident of safety in Yala. This makes the atmosphere in Yala hotels very quiet. Some hotels discount prices to 99 baht per night, but few people stay. Tourism is almost 0%. In the photo (right), it is the training program of "Project Evaluation for the interested persons who come from Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat."

Amateur websites about the troubles in the South - July 25, 2005
Thanks to Wisarut for finding these websites concerned with the troubles in the South.

Secret Source Library Dept. - This Thai conspiracy theory site is a hodgepodge of classic Thai right-wing issues ("someone is trying to harm the Monarchy so we can kill whoever we need to") and left-wing issues ("the US is evil and should stop interfering in Thailand").
They paste a long coherent analysis from GlobalSecurity.org onto their site unattributed and then add a single paragraph in managed English at the end claiming: Analysts say separatists, CIA and Bush Adminisstration's planed to create new country on southern Thailand. Thai's government now, was control by them. All fact show by maps..... Their 'facts' are an amusing series of Photoshopped maps.
Thai Terrorist Web Hunter - Group that tries to shut down websites runs by Pattanti separatist organizations.
And beyond these sites there are more Thai-language Muslim hate sites so vulgar we will not post the url.

End of an era as Thai rubber tappers flee violence - Reuters, July 25, 2005
...Like thousands of other Buddhist farmers in the relatively impoverished region, where 80 percent of the 2 million population is Muslim, he is giving up a job that has been in his family for three generations.
The exodus is so acute, industry insiders say, it is affecting output in the region, which accounts for a fifth of Thailand's annual rubber production of 3 million tonnes.
Those that are staying behind are changing their habits, abandoning, for the sake of personal security, the traditional timetable of rising at one o'clock in the morning to coincide with the maximum latex flow from the 10-metre high trees...


Editors vs. the Southern decree - July 20, 2005
The Nation is pressing as hard as it can on the media censorship portion of the decree for the South. While it may seem a bit hysterical, from The Nation's perspective, their editors were targets of politically biased money laundering probes, Thaksin-influenced advertisers have put pressure on many domestic newspapers, and pro-Thaksin groups and companies have been nibbling at the Nation Group's shareholdings. Beyond this is fear of the very human and particularly Thai 'big-man' trait of having an irresistible desire to wield powers to the fullest extent if they are available.
Some aspects of this situation are puzzling. By bringing up the decree, Thaksin has inexplicably moved out from behind the political cover afforded by the actions of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC). However, the PM has once again shown he is willing to take the heat for an issue and confront it directly. Whether Thaksin is truly a different kind of Thai leader--one who will slip blindly into a public confrontation from which he cannot back down--one who will not become his own worst enemy when in possession of absolute power--is yet to be seen. The challenges are now Thaksin's.

Thaksin has been left with few friends in the press corps - The Nation, July 19, 2005
There's no faster way for a government to turn the entire press corps against itself.
If Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had been at the headquarters of the Thai Journalists' Association yesterday to witness the brouhaha, his hair would surely have stood on end.
He might well have given some serious second thought to the notorious executive decree the government has just enacted ostensibly to keep the lid on simmering violence in the country's deep South.
At one crazy fell swoop, Thaksin has lost virtually all his friends in the media. Many of his erstwhile friends are not just disillusioned; they have reportedly pledged to become his sworn enemies from now on.
...With the forum drawing to a close, participants take a unified stance against the decree. The consensus is clear:
The last thing the troubled deep South needs is this executive decree, and the last man who should be allowed to wield the unbridled powers it accords is Thaksin Shinawatra.


EMERGENCY POWERS: Media finally unites in face of blatant assault on press freedom - The Nation, July 19, 2005
Editors agree PM has hidden agenda for enacting decree during meeting yesterday
The far-reaching state of emergency decree has rattled editors in the Thai news media.
Once again, media professionals have found the need to stand shoulder to shoulder to defend both the public's right to know and uncensored freedom of expression in this country.
Editors know well that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is power-hungry and will do anything to silence dissenting voices in the media, especially when it comes to reports of unchecked violence in the deep South.

[As far as we can tell, the Post does not report this editors' meeting at all, but leads with an article (Govt `eases off' in parts of decree, Bangkok Post, July 20, 2005) stating that controversial Article 9 of the decree which allows the government to censor the press 'would not be enforced.'
]

Articles on the emergency decree from the Post
Making history with a civilian coup d'etat - Bangkok Post, July 23, 2005
...And why is the confounded Press in a flap about unfounded fears that its poison pens will be confiscated and its freedom to report rubbish curtailed? Isn't the fact that you're reading this ample proof of the pudding?
Chamlong backs emergency law - Bangkok Post, July 23, 2005
Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang has reiterated his support for the executive decree on emergency powers, saying the prime minister needs more power to cope with unrest in the deep South, which could become worse if not properly dealt with...


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

Almost like being there: Yala - July 18, 2005

Dr. Has reports: Yala is one of beautiful cities of Thailand. Srimuang Park is a health park in Yala where people like to relax. Nowadays, people will go there only in the daytime. They do not dare to go at night.


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


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

Almost like being there: Yala - The damage from the July 14 attacks - July 16, 2005


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


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

Above: Damage from the July 14, 2005 attacks...


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

Above and below: The Srisami warehouse was bombed. The following day (July 15) the warehouse had to sell out the goods for low prices. Lots of people scramble to buy the cheap goods.


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


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

Above and below: The banality of the damage: People's houses opposite the Colesium Complex sustained damage also.


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


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

Above and below: Dr. Has reports from Yala: At 7:00pm (on July 14), the bad guys bombed many places in Yala. One of the places was Rama Cafe Restaurant (photos above and below) at Yala Rama Hotel in the center of Yala.


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


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)
Almost like being there: Yala - Teachers' meeting - July 16, 2005
Dr. Has reports from Yala: Today, on July 16, the Education Administrators of Education Office Zone 1, Yala have a meeting to plan for solving the problem that lots of teachers ask to move from the area. In some schools there are only two teachers left.

 

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

Thai PM defends emergency powers for Muslim south - AP, July 16, 2005
...The Thai Post daily compared the law -- which authorises the prime minister to order phone taps, censor news reports and detain suspects without charge -- to those wielded by the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police.
"Decree with a Moustache," said a front-page headline in the Thai-language Post Today, in an apparent reference to Adolf Hitler.
...Intelligence units had warned on July 10 that power sub-stations in the south could be targeted, but officials felt existing laws prevented them from taking pre-emptive action.
"This is absurd," said Thaksin, who was due to fly to Yala later on Saturday to visit survivors and receive a briefing from local security officials...


A tale of two newspapers: Special powers and problems in the South - July 16, 2005
The Nation, for once, separates the reporting of the event from their editorial. Usually they report the event in terms of the criticism of it. As usual, they feature multiple additional articles harshly critical of the government move.
The Post sticks it its formula of a "just-the-facts" article giving the government line. While they can occasionally have a tough, generalized article criticizing government policy, the Post has basically given up on creating their own editorial on the most controversial issues. Instead, they make sure the opinions on the issue--directly quoted--are prefaced with "Critics."


EMERGENCY DECREE: PM takes absolute power - The Nation, July 16, 2005
Media fumes over blow to press freedom - The Nation, July 16, 2005
...The association said it considered the decree to be in violation of the Constitution and the public's right to know the truth.
...The new measures call for the ban of all news releases that the government deems will terrify the public or distort the facts during states of emergency, which it said would lead to misunderstandings and undermine national security. The measures will be enforced in a particular area or the entire country...

Decree brings 'hidden dangers' - The Nation, July 15, 2005
..."My biggest concern is that this will lead to another Tak Bai bloodshed. Unless the state can come up with convincing evidence to detain somebody, there could be grave consequences in detaining suspects without warrants, " he said...
COMMENT: Solution more worrying than the problem - The Nation, July 15, 2005
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's sweeping and absolute powers to handle the increasingly turbulent deep South could plunge the whole of Thailand into something much darker than the widespread blackout in Yala caused by simultaneous terrorist attacks Thursday night.
...Such power is against the principles of human rights. It tramples upon the spirit of the 1997 "People's Constitution". And it represents the very things that have spawned our beloved motherland's biggest modern-day crisis in the first place - ignorance, prejudice and political imprudence of the grandest scales.
...And it will be no surprise if, somewhere in the deep South, some "bandits" are celebrating.

YALA ATTACKS: 60 people believed to have taken part - The Nation, July 16, 2005
ANALYSIS: Why the turning point never came - The Nation, July 16, 2005
...If anything, the coordinated attacks on Yala on Thursday evening are convincing testimony that the end of violence is nowhere in sight and that the government is still as clueless as ever as to how to prevent the situation from deteriorating...
Eyewitness accounts - The Nation, July 16, 2005

Security powers to get boost - Bangkok Post, July 16, 2005
The latest militants' attack on Yala town on Thursday night was the last straw that pushed the government to pass an executive decree empowering the prime minister to declare a state of emergency in the troubled southern border provinces at the cost of certain civil rights.
...The government admitted the decree had been mulled over for some time. The draft had been prepared beforehand and it was only a matter of time before legislation to deal with security emergencies was enacted...

Critics: Emergency decree a recipe for more violence - Bangkok Post, July 16, 2005
Critics of the Thaksin administration yesterday expressed strong disapproval of the surprise executive decree to combat southern unrest following a spate of bombings and shootings in Yala...


Also: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives

Thai leader takes sweeping security powers to fight unrest - AFP, July 15, 2005
...the Thai cabinet authorised Thaksin to invoke a range of measures including curfews, wiretaps and the power to close down publications.
"We have to be decisive now," Thaksin said before the emergency cabinet session.
..."The raid (Thursday) in Yala town was the last straw," government spokesman Chalerdej Jombunud said, explaining the sudden change....


CCTV for all mosques - TNA, July 15, 2005
The Supreme Commander is to propose the idea that close circuit television be installed in all mosques all over the troubled provinces in the deep South.
Supreme Commander Gen. Chaisith Shinawatra said the idea originated from the local people themselves. CCTV to monitor people's movement will help prevent insurgents from using mosques as shelter. He said he would propose this idea to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Pol. Gen. Chidchai Vanasatidya.
Gen. Chaisith returned from a tour of the three southernmost provinces that remain troubled by daily violent attacks. He held several meetings with the local people and community leaders, during which he heard the idea of CCTV for mosques proposed.That way the local religious leaders can help to identify whether there are strangers entering the mosques.


Two shot dead, at least 21 injured as bombs rock southern Thailand - AP, July 15, 2005

More details from tonight's violence in the South
- 11:58pm. July 14, 2005
According to Channel 9 at this hour: The Yala Governor said the 'bad guys" first bombed four poles outside the power station. Then, with the power off, they set off four bombs in Yala and left suspicious packages in front of convenience stores. Young people made bombs made of oil-soaked cloth.
One policeman was killed and 15 other people were injured--two seriously. The other 13 injured have been discharged from hospital already. The situation is now under control and the power is back on for 80% of the people. Yala has to borrow power from Pattani and Songhkla and hopes to have 100% power back soon.
PM Thaksin will have an urgent meeting at the Government House at 10am tomorrow.


Suspected insurgents launch Thai violence - AP, July 14, 2005
Suspected Muslim separatists staged a twilight raid Thursday on a provincial capital in southern Thailand, setting off bombs and engaging in gun battles with security personnel, injuring 14 people, police said.
One bomb exploded at the power station in Yala, the capital of the province of the same name, causing a blackout...


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

Almost like being there: Yala - July 14, 2005

Above: Ban Talohalor school organized the "Maolid" ceremony of year 1426 and invited a religious leader to speak on the biography of the Prophet Mohammed to students.


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

Above: On July 7, 2005, Ban Talohalor organized a ceremony of Maolid day to recall Mohammed prophet's birthday. The school invited people to do Lamad (an Islamic ceremony) to ask a blessing for the teacher and personnel to have encouragement and willpower (spirit) for working and having safety in health and assets.


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

Above: Student's parents come to help with the school's Maolid ceremony which is the strategy of the school that wants the community to participate with the school administration. Nowadays teachers and administrators cannot go to meet people in the village as in the past because the village leaders forbid them and cannot make sure of their safety.
Govt 'doesn't know' who is behind unrest - Bangkok Post, July 14, 2005
...He said the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and many Muslim countries seemed to understand the situation in the three Muslim-dominated provinces better after the OIC's fact-finding panel visited Thailand last month and reported to the OIC meeting in Yemen...

Thai separatists stockpiled thousands of weapons - International Herald Tribune, July 4, 2005
Thai Muslim insurgents have stockpiled more than 7,000 firearms and trained with Indonesian militants to wreak violence in southern Thailand, a former regional army commander said Monday...

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