Security, yellow shirts, south

22 01 2011

The Bangkok Post reports that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva “has called a meeting of chiefs of security agencies … to discuss the escalating southern unrest problem following the recent militants attack on a military camp in Narathiwat’s Rangae district where four soldiers were killed and several others injured.”

It needs to be noted that it was only a matter of a couple of weeks ago that Abhisit and his security chiefs were touting their success in the south and how well things were going.

As an aside the ever acting-allowing-him-to-keep-sponsored-housing government spokesman Panitan Wattanayakorn managed toassure hyper-nationalists that the “cases of [yellow-shirt] Veera Somkwamkid, a coordinator of the network, and his secretary Ratree Pipatanapaibul, facing charges with espionage will also be discussed.”

It makes little sense to consider the long-festering and bitter civil war in the south and a bunch of so-called patriots trying to provoke Cambodians and stoke nationalist royalism. But, then again, perhaps Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon and army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha can see connections between royalism, nationalism and the need to maintain a huge military presence in the south.

Prachatai has an excellent report from Krungthep Thurakij newspaper that outlines the cost of the southern conflict for the state and taxpayers. It says that the total expenditure in the south since 2004 has been a whopping 145 billion baht:

The government budget for each year is as follows: 13,450 million baht (2004), 13,674 (2005), 14,207 (2006), 17,526 (2007), 22,988 (2008), 27,547 (2009), 16,507 (2010) and 19,102 (2011).

These budgets are, however, for government programmes, and do not include the salaries of government officials, compensation for those affected by the unrest, the current government’s Thai Khem Kaeng programme, and arms procurement by the army through special procedures.

Over the 7 years, there have been 11,523 violent incidents, including 6,171 shootings, 1,964 bombings and 1,470 arson attacks. 4,370 people have been killed (3,825 civilians, 291 soldiers and 254 policemen) and 7,136  injured.

And the dopey yellow shirts deserve attention too??



One response

23 01 2011
Navy submarines resurface | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] up to 400 billion baht – is a desire to defeat domestic political opposition, including southern insurgents and (currently) red shirts (as pointed out in the Post story). Hence, Prime Minister Abhisit […]

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