• 25,00 kr

Publisher Description

In mid-2008, with the turbulence in Thailand's Deep South halfway through its 5th year, the government, military and police claimed that tangible progress had been made in destabilising insurgent networks and reducing "daily killings" in the six month period since late 2007. Though statistics do indicate an overall decline in violent incidents and casualties over this period, the authorities still face the challenge of convincing both the borderland and national population, as well as the news media (both domestic and foreign) that they are making progress in ways that are both substantial and legitimate. It is a state that can appropriately be described as intractable. Essentially there are two key reasons for this condition of intractability bedevilling Thailand's southern crisis. First, the security forces of the Thai state are unable to reach a decisive breakthrough in counter-insurgency and development efforts in the face of a determined and flexible guerrilla war being waged against them. Admittedly, the cell-based clandestine insurgent networks have been at least a decade in the making, so it is hardly to be expected that this guerrilla-style offensive can be quelled rapidly, and over the past few years military and government officials have repeatedly emphasized that it will take time to end the violence. Nonetheless, even with the current policy mix of law enforcement and peaceoriented development, it is unlikely that a reduction in current violence will be any more than gradual. Overshadowing this ongoing challenge is the fact that the daily killings afflicting the borderland are also committed by crime networks and rival local politicians who intersect with ideologically-motivated groups in varied and confusing ways. (1) Unofficial estimates of the proportion of total killings resulting from private and political conflicts range from between 15 to 50 per cent. (2) Nevertheless, the impelling force driving the violence and continuing insecurity in the borderland is clearly a form of Malay-Muslim separatism embraced by a looselystructured movement founded on cell-based military and political wings, one that has been able to attract support from a proportion of the local Malay-Muslim population, and otherwise demand the compliance and/or silence of many others.

Politics & Current Affairs
August 1
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)

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