Troubles in the South – November 2005

Troubles in the South index page


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

Almost like being there: Flooding in Yala Province - November 25, 2005


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

Almost like being there: Burned homes - November 21, 2005
Insurgents burned the homes of Buddhist villagers in Yala. Three were killed and two injured.


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


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

Almost like being there: Bomb damage - November 20, 2005
Photos of the damage that caused by two bombs exploding Sunday morning in Sungai Kolok, Narathiwat. 10 were injured. After the first bomb went off, another off 5 meters away.


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


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


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

Almost like being there: Massacre in the Deep South - November 17, 2005
Mr. John writes: Unknown assailants used war weapons and grenades to massacre an entire family of nine Muslim villagers in Ban Krathong, Mu 5 Thambon Bor-ngor, Rangae, Narathiwat (2 men, 6 women, and 1 baby who is was only 8 months of age.)

Almost like being there: Trying to get back the 'risk money' - November 17, 2005
Dr. Has writes: On November 17, teacher representatives from the three southern border provinces meet the Fourth Army Commander, the director of the Southern Border Provinces Peace-building Command at Sirindhorn camp, Amphur Yarung, Pattani, to submit the list of 12,000 teachers in 3 southern border provinces (left). They ask a review of the issue of cutting risk money (hazard pay) of 2500 baht a month for teachers and other government officials who work in the Deep South. This is because teachers are as at risk as the military or police.

Left: December 5, 2005 - Dr. Rung Kaewdang called the representatives of teachers to meet him in order to help teachers to write a proposal for getting the risk money reinstated.
Right: December 10, 2005 - The Confederation of Teachers, Yala gets financial support from teachers in Yala for the confederation's expenses to fight for teachers' rights. At present, the Confederation of Teachers, Yala joined with the Confederation of Teachers of Pattani and Narathiwat to demand the risk money that was cut.


(Photo: Dr. Has for 2Bangkok.com)
Almost like being there: Teachers protest - November 15, 2005
Dr. Has writes: On November 15, the Federation of Teachers organized a meeting with the representative to find out solution on transferring public schools to local governments. The teachers do not agree.


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

Almost like being there: They made 100 bombs - November 15, 2005
Mr. John writes: Lt. Gen. Kwanchat Klanharn, Army leader 4 and Director of Promotion and Peace in the Deep South with officers, police, military and administrators use the power from the decree to investigate the house in Narathiwat area after arresting three young guys who confessed to making bombs for the unrest group. Since 2004, two guys said they make and deployed more than 100 bombs.


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

The South? C’est moi! - The Nation, November 14, 2005

[Chang Noi's latest editorial is more an explanation of an academic paper that represents what many people believe is going on in the South--that it is a kind of conspiracy of politicians upset by the ascendancy of TRT. The early accusations that southern MPs were involved in the violence was rooted in this belief. Former PM Chavalit Yongchaiyudh also advanced a view in a book published in August that the violence was an attempt at political manipulation.
This idea of attributing controversial events--especially violence and protests--to political power games is a typical theme in Thai political thought where events of the day are explained as Machiavellian and cold-hearted manipulations by those who are ultimately protecting their advantage and profit. Those who carry out the actions are seen as foolish pawns of rich puppet masters. This view explains why most Thais casts a jaundiced eye on popular political movements of all kinds.]

...Why then did it blow up again? The paper argues that Thaksin’s rise to power in 2001 threatened a “network” which had dominated Thai politics over at least the previous two decades. This network included major figures in the army, the bureaucracy and other important institutions in Thai society. It was closely linked to the Democrat Party.
...This network did not work in the front-line politics of elections or in Parliament or the Cabinet but exerted enormous influence in the dim background. It could affect key appointments, especially in the armed forces and Ministry of the Interior. It could intervene during crises when elected leaders were in trouble, and it could exert pressure in little ways which are invisible to those outside the charmed circle. According to the paper’s argument, Thaksin Shinawatra was the first elected prime minister with the power to challenge this network. The 1997 Constitution strengthened the prime minister...

Thailand crisis deepening - The Jamestown Foundation, November 14, 2005
The crisis in southern Thailand took an ominous turn with the announcement on November 3 that martial law has been declared in two districts of the province of Songkhla. This is the first extension of martial law beyond the three troubled provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala (where a state of emergency is already in force). In effect, this is a tacit admission that Bangkok has been unable to stop the almost 2-year insurgency and halt the spread of Muslim secessionist violence...

SOUTHERN UNREST: Self-rule idea called ‘dangerous’ - The Nation, November 14, 2005

Will peace for the South cost the PM his job? - Thai Post editorial translated by Bangkok Post, November 11, 2005
...The prime minister has blamed several groups for the violence, ranging from local bandits and drug gangs to brainwashed youngsters and people bent on removing him from office. Mr Thaksin's inflammatory remarks also added fuel to the fire.
Without a clear policy direction, a solution remains a distant dream. If the daily acts of violence were indeed perpetrated by those bent on destroying the prime minister, should Mr Thaksin consider resigning in order to end the problem once and for all?
The prime minister must be responsible for what he says. He cannot go on making public statements to draw sympathy or score political points. If he continues to grope in the dark, there will be no end to the current mayhem.


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

Almost like being there: Lantern Festival in Hat Yai - November 10, 2005
Mr. John writes: Some of the lanterns in a public park in Hadyai. The International Lantern Festival was organized by TAT and Had Yai Municipality . The objective is to promote tourism during the Loy Kratong Festival on November 15-30.


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

Almost like being there: Bombing cars in the South - November 8, 2005
Mr. John writes: Government officials' cars bombed in two places in Yala province. At the place, the bad guys hid the bomb under the car of a government official of the Education Center, Yala. The force of the bomb damaged many cars and injured the owner. At the second place, the bad guy hid the bomb under the local officer's car. The bombed exploded when the car was parked at the city hall of Yala, damaging the car. The police found that both government officials' homes were close together and the bad guy might have hid both bombs late at night.


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


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

Almost like being there: Thaksin in Narathiwat - November 7, 2005
Mr. John writes: Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister and his team visit the three southern border provinces again as chairman of the Annual Robe Presentation and the Forest Robe Presentation Ceremony at Wat Khaokong, Narathiwat. Since the unrest started, people do not want to be chairpersons as usual. The temple will take the money from these ceremonies to buy warning signals for use when bad events happen again.


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


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


Almost like being there: Signs in the Deep South - November 4, 2005

Signs in the deep south: Understand Access Development - Violating rights, injustice or destroying prestige, life, and assets is a guilty, serious sin. It is also a guilt that violates god directly.
Another one reads: Understand Access Development - Killing one innocent life as if killing all humans. This is a big sin.

Army launches website to counter separatist propaganda - Bangkok Post, November 4, 2005
..."It's pointless to close down the separatist websites. The separatist groups will just open new ones,'' he said.
" Solving problems by creating understanding with the people through use of ideology is a better way.''
With this in mind, the army has set up a new website - www.southpeace.go.th...

Website focuses on Somchai - Bangkok Post, November 2, 2005
"Where is Somchai?" asks the headline on a human rights organisation's new webpage. In a bid to maintain public awareness of the case of missing lawyer Somchai Neelaphaijit, the Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission on Monday launched the webpage with links to all information about him from appeals to statements and press releases in Thai and English...

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


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

Almost like being there: Narathiwat blackout - November 2, 2005
Photos of the attacks on Wednesday night in Narathiwat Province. Above, one of the utility poles felled by separatists. Below, officers investigating suspicious materials left in Narathiwat.


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


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