Monday, September 1, 2008

"Political Turmoil and the Southern Insurgency"

*All Photos Copyright *
Thahan Phran or ranger on guard for the arrival of former Prime Minister and Privy Councilor Surayud Chulanont at the 4th Peace Fair organised by SBPAC in Yala August 1st 2008.

The International Crisis Group has just released at report titled "Political Turmoil and the Southern Insurgency" which details how security forces have effectively lowered the level of violence in the southern border provinces.

This is despite the fact that political chaos in Bangkok has prevented the Samak government from implementing any positive changes in the South.

This initially seems like good news but the fundamental grievances that are driving this conflict have still not been properly addressed.

The military has succeeded in locking down the violence through an extensive security plan yet this should not be understood as a solution as much as temporary quick fix.

To address the long term grievances, the International Crisis Group suggests:

In particular, the government should:

  • appoint a deputy prime minister to take charge of the effort to cope with southern violence, instead of allowing the military to lead on the issue;
  • empower the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) by expediting the enactment of a law to govern its operations and to make it independent from the military-controlled Internal Security Operations Command;
  • revoke martial law, amend the emergency decree and the internal security act to increase accountability of the security forces, and allow detainees prompt access to lawyers and family;
  • ensure accountability for past human rights abuses, such as the deaths of nearly 200 Muslims in the 2004 Tak Bai and Krue Se incidents – the single most effective way to rebuild trust with Malay Muslims;
  • make clear it is ready to negotiate seriously with genuine leaders of the insurgency, but make it a condition of the negotiations that their inter­locutors demonstrate they genuinely control insurgents on the ground;
  • and give serious consideration to ways of granting some degree of self-rule, or decentralisation of power, to help end the conflict.

To read their full report, please click here: Thailand: Political Turmoil and the Southern Insurgency

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