The government has persuaded most of the separatist groups in the south to resume peace talks. The southern separatist leaders (of six groups, which claim to have a total of 9,000 armed members) are reluctant to negotiate with the military government because they believe that government will soon be replaced by an elected one that may well refuse to honor a peace deal negotiated by the military. Either that or a civil war over the reluctance of the military to allow elections.
Meanwhile the military government is creating a lot more popular opposition by delaying elections. Currently the elections (to replace the military government with an elected one) are to take place in mid-2017. But the generals have already moved the date further into the future several times and many Thais believe this will keep happening as the generals try to retain power indefinitely. This is unprecedented in modern Thai history and very unpopular with most voters. Another reason for discontent is the inability of the military rulers to get the economy going or settle the unrest in the south.
September 17, 2015: In the south (Narathiwat) a bomb in a motorcycle went off, killing three and wounding 14. Earlier two other bombs went off in a temple, and another three in the area that caused no casualties. The fatal bomb was placed so that it could kill and injure police and rescue personnel who soon arrived at the temple.
The air force signed a deal to purchase four South Korean T-50 jet trainers for about $28 million each. The T-50 can also operate as a ground attack aircraft. The four aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2017 and there is an option to buy twenty more. The T-50 will be used for advanced training of pilots for the Jas-39 and F-16 fighters used by the air force.
September 16, 2015: In the south (Pattani) a local defense volunteer was killed by an Islamic terrorist bomb. The dead man was guarding teachers from such attacks, which has become a regular job for the security forces and local volunteers.
September 14, 2015: Malaysia has agreed to share the cost of building a security fence along the 640 kilometer border with Thailand. Construction will begin in 2016. Both countries have recently (since 2013) discussed building their own fence to halt the growing smuggling problem on the border. People smuggling has become a major issue, along with increasing drug and weapons smuggling. The movement of Islamic terrorists is also a problem, but minor compared to the other things being moved. Cost and design of the fence have not been agreed on yet but this is expected to be taken care of over the next few months. An effective fence could cost several hundred million dollars.
September 13, 2015: Police in the capital arrested three women suspected of involvement in the August 17th temple bombing. Earlier three other suspects (two men and a woman) were arrested in Malaysia. One of those arrested in Malaysia was a man from Pakistan.
September 12, 2015: Police released a picture of a Chinese (Uighur) many named Ishan who was described as the suspected organizer of the August 17th temple bombing. One of the bombing suspects under arrest is also a Uighur. Several other Uighurs are believed involved in the bombing. The attack is now seen as revenge by Uighur separatists for the Thai government sending 109 Uighurs back to China in July. China had been pressuring the Thai government for over a year to send back Uighurs who had illegally fled China. Uighurs are a Turkic people living in northwest China and many have been moving through Thailand to get to exile in Turkey or the West. People smugglers frequently use Thailand as a way station for getting people (for a large fee) out of the region and to more distant and hospitable destinations (preferably Europe or North America.) China says the Uighurs it is after are criminals (Islamic terrorists). The Thai government refused to act promptly to the Chinese requests and then Turkey offered to take the Uighurs, who face punishment back in China. This delayed but did not stop the eventual return of the Uighurs to China. Police have arrest warrants issued for a dozen other suspects, some who appear to have fled the country. The government is reluctant to describe the attack as Uighur related but so far the evidence points in that direction.
September 6, 2015: In the south (Pattani) Islamic terrorists used a roadside bomb to attack a military vehicle and wound four soldiers.
September 5, 2015: In the south (Pattani) Islamic terrorists killed another prominent Moslem cleric who had preached against terrorism and urged peace.
August 25, 2015: The government resumed peace talks in Malaysia with Moslem separatist groups in the south.
August 24, 2015: A week after the temple bombing that killed twenty in the capital another large bomb was found at a construction site and disabled.