The Flow of Arms and Drugs in Thailand

From Komchadluek, March 12, 2012

[Explanation: This is part of a massive campaign rolled out in the media earlier this month. While the organized crime angle is likely a key part of some of the violence in the Thai deep south, the plan itself also reveals some of the realities of the present situation:

1. This definition of the problem is meant to mold public perceptions about what is behind the violence in the deep south and thus gain public support for government initiatives. Gaining public awareness and then support for government action has been a unique feature of Thaksin-related governments. Traditional political parties focus on internal coalition politics and rebuff any attempts to use public opinion to influence the decision-making process.

2. This overall definition of what is happening in the south is classic Thaksin. This definition contends that the trouble is caused by drug-dealing bandits (not separatism or demand for local justice or autonomy) and thus harsh measures (such as extra-judicial killings–a popular and widely accepted practice across the political spectrum) are the proper way of dealing with the situation.

3. At present, the government is locked in battle with the military (particularly Commander-in-Chief Gen. Prayuth) over a variety of issues related to Thaksin as well as the military’s self-proclaimed prerogative to act independently of civilian oversight.

The present government policy for the deep south is to grant limited autonomy and place conditions on the treatment of detainees. However, these plans are simply disregarded by the military. The military still acts independently by using elite forces to detain and torture civilians in the name of extracting intelligence information. This complicates efforts to improve trust between the government and local communities.]

The headlines: Drug and arms networks that are troubling the South are revealed. They flow from the North to Bangkok, down to Songkhla and into Malaysia.
Text: Komchadluek reveals the nationwide cycle of drugs, contraband goods and arms connected to the southern violence and international criminals. Songkhla is identified as a stop-off for all kinds of goods before distribution inside and outside the country.
First panel: Drug route: Amphetamines and marijuana from neighboring countries are sent through the North, the Northeast and the East, stopping in Bangkok before being sent down to Songkhla and into Malaysia and Singapore.
Club drugs from Malaysia and Singapore stop off in Songkhla before being sent up to Bangkok. [The term “club drugs” is used as an English term spelled phonetically in Thai. They refer to more trendy drugs such as ecstasy that are popular with club-goers.]
Arms route: Arms from Burma are sent through the North, stopping in Bangkok before continuing on to Songkhla and then for use in the violence in three southernmost provinces.

Orange-colored provinces -> 31 provinces with a very high level of drugs
Yellow-colored provinces -> 33 provinces with a moderate level of drugs
Downward-heading arrows on top, from left to right: Drugs are delivered from Burma to Bangkok — Arms are delivered from Burma to Bangkok — Drugs are delivered from Laos to Bangkok.
Downward-heading arrows on bottom, from left to right: Drugs from Bangkok are sent to Songkhla — Arms from Bangkok are sent to Songkhla.
Upward-heading arrow at bottom: Drugs from Songkhla are sent to Bangkok.
Left-heading arrow in the middle: Drugs are delivered from Cambodia to Bangkok.
Left-headed arrow down below: Drugs are sent from Malaysia and Singapore.
Right-headed arrow down below: Drugs are sent to Malaysia and Singapore.
By the money: Stop-off for drugs, arms and contraband goods.
On the fire: Arms are brought down to foment violence in the three provinces.

This entry was posted in Analysis, Drugs, The Thai Deep South. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.