Violence in the Deep South getting worse?

Above: Numbers of violent incidents since January 2004 through April 2011. Across the bottom are the years (2547 is 2004, 2548 is 2005, 2549 is 2006, 2550 is 2007, 2551 is 2008, 2552 is 2009, 2553 is 2010, 2554 is 2011).
The blue line shows the number of all violent incidents that took place as reported by the Deep South Coordination Center (counting all incidents both injury and non-injury). The red line shows data according to the Violence-related Injury Surveillance (a form that hospitals, doctors and clinics are supposed to fill out to report violent incidents). Source: Deep South Violence-related Injury Surveillance statistics

[We’re all for the alarmist tone of recent articles on the south–the international community focuses much more on insurgencies and border issues than they do on internal political strife in Thailand. So interest in the south means interest in Thai issues.

But the reality is that the violence in the south has been greatly reduced. The military took over managing the south again from the police after the 2006 coup. By 2008 they had largely managed to reduce and contain separatist activity. It remains true that the conflict is still simmering, separatists actively employ new tactics, and the entire situation represents a big challenge to the Thai state. However, the number and pace of violent events has been greatly curtailed since its peak in 2007.

So we are wondering what has sparked this latest round of dire articles about the situation in the south.

One reason could be concern over a Thaksin-controlled government again calling the shots in the south considering his history of sparking and fostering the current round of unrest. Another reason could simply be that when dramatic photos are available (like the car bomb exploding), this puts the issue on the map again and triggers journalists to give the conflict a dramatic spin.]

Thailand’s Muslim Insurgency: Now What? –, August 2, 2011
…Perhaps foreign policy analysts will soon take more notice because, as argued by Patrick Winn at Global Post, Thailand’s Islamic insurgency now threatens to be Asia’s biggest and bloodiest…

Introduction: Asia’s bloodiest insurgency –, July 27, 2011
All-Buddhist militias in southern Thailand must defend themselves against Islamic militants. Their temples have become fortresses ringed with razor wire…

Part 1: How did insurgents master bomb-making? –, July 27, 2011
According to a rebel spokesman, they Googled it…

Part 4: Quietly, the U.S. aids terror fight –, July 27, 2011
The hush-hush nature of America’s involvement partly explains why the Western world remains so blind to this conflict…

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