In the south, Islamic terrorists
ambushed an army patrol, and five soldiers were wounded. The terrorists fled
when the soldiers returned fire. The daily attacks by Islamic terrorists
continue, but the government persists in its policy of trying to reconcile the
pro-terrorist Moslems in the south. That may change soon, as the generals have
appointed a veteran tough guy to organize a more violent solution
to the Islamic terrorists. The preparations for this change in strategy is
expected to encourage Moslem leaders in the south to reconsider their
reluctance to help the government round up the Islamic terrorists. Meanwhile,
the terrorists themselves are continuing to use violence to keep Moslems from
cooperating with the government. If both sides resort to violence, it's going
to get very nasty. The Thais know from past experience that this approach will
work, although the PR blowback will be substantial. In the past, the Thais have
ignored what the rest of the world thought of them.
May 22, 2007: The government has shut down
three radio stations that featured phoned in interviews from ousted ( last
September) prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This has led to unrest and
protests against government attempts to stifle free speech. The government is
also trying to use the courts to cripple the political parties that support
Thaksin, who still apparently has the support of most Thais.
May 21, 2007: In the south, terrorists used
the two bomb technique, having a second bomb go off as people rushed to help
the victims of the first. Eleven people were wounded.
May 20, 2007: Over 3,000 people demonstrated
in the capital, to protest the military government. The coup is not working out
well, and even though the generals have promised new elections by the end of
the year, many people want it sooner, rather than later. Even the king, who
approved of the coup (an important bit of support), has had second thoughts and
is opposed to some of the junta policies.