RealNews

Analysts: Thai Riot Tragedy Will Further Radicalize Southern Muslims

The death of 84 protestors will fuel a separatist insurgency and increase tensions between Thailand’s Muslim south and a deeply mistrusted government, analysts and religious leaders say. Anger in Muslim communities, seething from troops’ mistreatment of 1,300 detainees, after a riot Monday threatens further violence in a region where a resurgent separatist movement has left more than 410 people dead this year, they said. Most of the victims suffocated and several broke their necks when they were crammed into trucks after authorities broke up a riot prompted by the arrest of six Muslims who were accused of handing guns to anti-government rebels. “The future impact is unpredictable but the sentiment of the local people will certainly be inflamed,” said Gothom Arya, secretary general of regional rights monitor Forum Asia. “If this is not dealt with in a sensitive manner, then of course it will be a kind of raw material for more radicalism. We are concerned that there will be more violence and retaliation and the cycle of division between ‘them and us'” will continue, he said.Muslims make up five percent of the national population and mostly live in the three provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. They have long complained of discrimination by the government in Buddhist-dominated Thailand. Five of Thailand’s southernmost provinces were originally part of an ancient Hindu-Malay empire that adopted Islam in the mid-13th century but was annexed by Thailand in 1902. A separatist insurgency has rumbled on for decades but sparked into life in January. Since then attacks have continued almost daily, culminating in the huge death toll in the riot at Tak Bai in Narathiwat and its aftermath.Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.