Tuesday, June 16, 2009

That's SOOO "Lord of the Flies"

Here's the latest in the daily bloodshed happening in the southern provinces of Thailand. Again, I feel lucky that the killings and bombings don't often make their way up to the capital. Knock on wood.

Yet another reason why I'll probably never be granted a security clearence by the U.S. government ever again!

From Yahoo News:

YALA, Thailand (AFP) – Suspected Muslim militants decapitated a rubber-tapper and displayed his head on a stick outside his house in the latest violence in
Thailand's troubled south, police said Monday.

The attack comes amid a recent spike in bloodshed in the restive Muslim-majority region bordering Malaysia, where more than 3,700 people have been killed during a bitter five-year insurgency.

Police said the 53-year-old victim's body was found with the head, hands and lower legs removed at his makeshift house on a rubber plantation in volatile Yala province on Monday morning.

The attackers stuck his head on a stick and put it in front of the building, they said.

In neighbouring Narathiwat province, a suspected insurgent gunman riding a motorcycle shot dead a Muslim man in front of his house, also on Monday, police said.

Meanwhile a bomb hidden inside a motorcycle and triggered by mobile phone exploded in Narathiwat on Sunday evening, injuring ten people who were shopping at a weekend market, they added.

Thailand's government is struggling to curb the sudden upsurge in violence in the south that erupted in recent weeks, including a bloody attack on a mosque in which
gunmen shot dead 11 people during evening prayers.

The insurgents have in the past targeted both security forces and civilians -- Buddhist and Muslim alike -- ranging from teachers to rubber plantation workers.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday raised the possibility of making the south a special administrative zone as a political solution to the unrest but ruled out granting any form of autonomy.

The southern region was an autonomous Malay Muslim sultanate until Thailand annexed it in 1902, provoking decades of tension which flared up into the current insurgency in January 2004.

This kind of stuff makes the red shirts and yellow shirts with their airport blockades, broom sticks, machetes and handguns seem kintergardenish.


Beccarigg said...

Reading that makes my stomach turn. I can't believe you live there! BE CAREFUL! (and maybe carry a gun)

Pae and Guy said...

On the face of it, it may seem pretty spooky to live in a place that is rife with such ongoing violence. Expecially when Thailand is roughly the size of California, in land area. The southern provinces where all this has been going on for several years now is about the same distance as maybe San Diego to San Francisco, and like I said, it rarely gets up here to Bangkok. The insurgency pretty much just wants the Buddhists out and to be left alone. They do rise up at times when there is a new draft of the constitution being put together, as there are always supporters of Buddhism being made the official religion of the Kingdom. This causes problems as the Muslims cry foul and start blowing things up all over the country to get some pub.

The funny thing about the violence, unlike in the middle east, is that no one group really ever claims responsibility for the attacks. They are basically just trying to stir things up and cause the non-Muslim population to fear living there. There was an article in the paper yesterday or the day before about teachers in the south requesting transfers to other government schools because they feared for their lives. Talk about a job that doesn't pay enough... choosing to be a teacher in Pattani or Yala with the situation like it is now is like suicide. I think the death count is up around 200 teachers now. And who, in the long run, is hurt by all of this...the kids really.

I've said before, I don't feel threatened living up here in BKK. It's a great place to live and visit. I do have to say though that I'll probably never make it down to Yala! Gotta be smart about things!

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