News / Asia

    Violence in Thailand's Deep South Escalates as Peace Talks Take Place

    Violence in Thailand's Deep South Escalates as Peace Talks Take Placei
    X
    June 14, 2013 10:37 PM
    In Thailand's three southern-most provinces, an Islamic insurgency has claimed more than 5,000 lives since 2004. Now, the government is holding a series of peace talks - for the first time in the nine-year conflict - with leaders of one of the insurgent groups. Steve Sandford has this report for VOA from Narathiwat.
    Violence in Thailand's Deep South Escalates as Peace Talks Take Place
    In Thailand's three southern-most provinces, an Islamic insurgency has claimed more than 5,000 lives since 2004. Now, the government is holding a series of peace talks - for the first time in the nine-year conflict - with leaders of one of the insurgent groups. 

    In Thailand's deep south, it's common to see men in uniform at local schools. But unlike at institutions in the West, the men are often heavily armed.

    Early this year, instructors and students at one Muslim primary school in Narathiwat province witnessed a cold-blooded killing as two men walked in during lunch-break and gunned down a teacher.

    For grade 1 instructor Yai Nong, who witnessed the savage attack, the brutal act left many questions to answer - for everyone.

    “All the students in the school asked us why they had to shoot our teacher and many of them talked about the incident in their own little groups. What did he do wrong? They ask us the same question,” Yai Nong said.

    In the three southern-most provinces, known as the “Red Zone,” most of the targets are those associated with the central Thai government.

    Until now, the attacks occurred in the Malay Muslim-dominated region bordering Malaysia, but there's always the underlying fear of escalation through support from international terrorist cells.

    Analyst Srisompop Chitpirom, who documents the ongoing conflict on the "Deep South Watch" website explains.

    “This is a theory that so long as you still have a certain level of violence going on and the government cannot solve the problem it will be the Pandora's Box and everything can come, including the international insurgency or the international terrorist organizations,” Srisompop said.

    For now, it seems that the problem is contained within a region that is 90 percent Muslim and is deeply impoverished.

    For Islamic Committee leader Abdulrahman Abdulsamad, it's not about religion but rather the neglect and alienation of the region by a predominately Buddhist Thai government.

    “There is no justice for the local people and they don't trust each other. The Thais don't understand the language and don't understand the culture. Religion is not the main problem,” Abdulsamad said.

    As a small step forward in the fragile peace process, both sides have agreed to curb the violence during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins next month.

    But people still wonder if negotiations will be enough to bring eventual peace to the area.

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: kanaikaalirumporai
    June 16, 2013 10:03 AM
    This going to end up in another grand-scale genocide that the Buddhistic sections of the Asian regimes practice currently, while the powerfuls in the club like Japan and China offer all kinds of protections includind diplomatic shieldings, even in some cases financial incentives like the episode in which Japan annuled most of Burma's earlier debt and offered consession loans just after the country's Buddhists burned down a school with hundreds of children inside. No conditions for investigation nor reforms were attached. The world's policeman, USA, or any other big-powers cared to question since affeted were poor muslims who happened to be on the bad-books of the Judaea-Christian nations.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.