The death toll in the south continues to rise, with 20-30 people being murdered by Islamic terrorists each month, and many more threatened. Over 1,500 people have been killed by the three years of violence in the south.
November 4, 2006: In the south, bombs were set off three bars, wounding five people. Islamic terrorists are particularly hostile to places that sell alcoholic beverages.
November 4, 2006: Thai officials are negotiating the return of 200,000 Thai Moslems, in Malaysia, where they have fled to escape the Islamic terrorism, and police reprisals, of the last three years. The refugees believe that the new government might be able to protect them from the terrorists, who extort money and goods from Moslem villagers, and threaten those suspected of cooperating with the police. The government promises to restrain the army and police, who have killed dozens of Moslems demonstrators when dealing with large gatherings supporting reform in the south.
November 3, 2006: In the south, Islamic terrorists are now setting fire to schools. Like Islamic terrorists everywhere, the Thai radicals oppose non-religious education. These see the schools as an attempt by the Buddhist majority to turn children away from Islam. Most Moslem parents oppose this thinking, and it was these parents who came and put out the school fires. But that will result in some of them being accused of "un-Islamic" behavior, and threatened with violence. There are nearly a thousand schools in the southern Moslem areas, and most of the teachers are Moslem. But thousands of the 12,000 teachers are Buddhist, and they are constantly threatened by Islamic terrorists.
October 27, 2006: Government negotiators are having some success in their discussions with the five Moslem political groups. The Moslems want more autonomy, and economic growth. The area has been a backwater for centuries. The four Moslem provinces had been an independent Sultanate, which no one much bothered with, until the Thais turned it into a vassal state in the late 18th century, as a buffer against British colonial expansion from the South (Malaysia). Nothing much changed when Thailand formally annexed the Sultanate of Pattani a century ago. But the economic boom in the rest of Thailand over the last three decades left the Moslems behind. The only visible signs of this new prosperity has been the tourist resorts on the coast. That brought in wealthy foreigners (whose beach attire, or lack of it, offended conservative Moslems), and Thais from the north to take many of the best jobs. The growing, worldwide Islamic radical movement took hold in the south, and that minority (supported by about ten percent of the Moslems) has been committing the terrorist acts. These killers will turn on the more moderate Moslem political parties, if it appears that some kind of peace deal is going to be signed.