Attacks on Buddhists in Southern Region of Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand (CHAKRA)—In the southern region of the Narathiwat province, three consecutive bomb explosions killed four Malaysians as well as a Thai volunteer that was working in a tourist area. Concern has risen for the area, especially because officials believe that the targets of such blasts are foreign tourists. The specific targets of the blasts were a hotel and a Chinese-Thai cultural center, which were both partly damaged. These spoils have reminded the government of the ethnic minority problems that exist in the south.
Approximately 80% of the population in Thailand’s three southern provinces is made up of Muslims which add up to about 1.7 million people. For about seven years now, ethnic Malay Muslims have been looking to separate their portion of the south from the rest of the majority Buddhist land.
Governments of Thailand have placed over 60,000 troops in the southern region but even that has not helped stop the frequent attacks that take place in the area. The local population largely opposes the presence of soldiers in their area.
Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister has promised to take more seriously the terrorism problem of the Muslim south although the Phue Thai party has no representatives in any of the three southern provinces. People wonder, without representatives, how the Prime Minister will go about making a positive change related to the violent extremist behavior that takes place in the southern provinces.
The Thai military claims that there are many insurgents out in the south, who want to terrorize the area making it difficult for foreigners to get in and out without fear.