In the south, Islamic
terrorist violence continues to decline, but also shows no sign of completely
disappearing. Local leaders and community groups largely oppose the terrorists
now, which has caused more Moslems to be the targets of attacks. What started
as an ethnic/religious cleansing campaign, has evolved into a civil war among Moslems
in the south. Most southern Moslems realize that the majority Thais are not
going to be forced out. Worse, the Islamic militants offer a religious
dictatorship (lifestyle restrictions, no non-religious schools, or any at all
for girls) that is particularly unappealing to most people in the south.
minority royalist parties got their way as one of their supporters was elected
the new prime minister. Most Thais regard this as another military coup, this
time using mobs of urban supporters instead of troops (who refused to interfere
to restore order). Thus the country
claims to be a democracy, but is now ruled by a minority of royalists and urban
groups who believe they know what is best for everyone, despite their inability
to obtain the majority of votes.