Unrest in Southern Thailand

Fellows Spring 2005

By Ryan Anson

June 01, 2009

Islamic insurgents renewed a campaign of violence in Thailand's three border provinces early in 2004.

More than 650 people have since been killed in Thailand's southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala. Most of the victims have been government employees, security forces, Buddhist monks, and Muslim leaders regarded as collaboraters with the state. The military brass attributes the violence to Islamic militants who are suspected of belonging to separatist organizations that have sporadically fought to reestablish the independent Pattani sultanate in the country's border region. The area is populated by an ethnic Malay majority which has been marginalized both economically and politically by the Buddhist-dominated government in Bangkok.