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The Violence in the South of Thailand has been reported in four provinces that are located at the extreme South Tip of Thailand, bordering the neighbouring country Malaysia. The names of these provinces are Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Satun. These are the provinces where the majorities are Muslims and where civil unrest has erupted once again since January 2004, including attacks on civilians and Army Camps.HistoryViolence in Southern of Thailand has been a long problem, stretching over 500 years. Thailand is a Buddhist Nation with over 90% of the population being Buddhist. The next majorities are 4% Muslims that live mostly in the Southern Thailand provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. Most of these Muslims are of Malyan origin and always wanted a Country of their own, which they wanted to call, “Greater Pattani”. Since then, Muslim separatists have been fighting with security forces and have caused loss to life and property. For a brief period, violence had subsided and there was peace around. However, recently in the past few years violence has erupted again in the South due to misunderstandings between the government and the locals.Present ProblemThe present Violence that has erupted in Southern of Thailand has been reported to start in January 4th 2004 when a group of Muslim Separatists burst into an army camp, stole nearly 400 guns and ammunitions, killed 4 soldiers and burnt 20 schools in the province of Narathiwat. The army responded with a fiery of raids around major Muslim towns, reporting torture, attacks and also few deaths. The police denied this claim and said the police were trying to find the people responsible and also to track down drug traffickers coming from Malaysia. The Muslim separatists/guerillas angry by the Government and Army’s action, have since then raided many places, bombed civilian places with motorcycles, pick up truck, launched offensive attacks on civilians and army/police personals, raided army camps, etc. It has also been reported that at the end of March, these extremist had raided an army camp from which they stole 1.4 tonnes of Ammonia, enough to blow up a whole town. More than 60 people have died, including 3 Buddhist Monks.The government and police have described these people as bandits who want to steal and get money, believing them to be extremists who have come from Malaysia. However, Malaysia has dismissed these claims. Martial law has been placed in these provinces and over thousands of police and army officials have been deployed to get the situation under control. The Muslim separatists are vowing to continue their raids and attacks, unless the government lifts the martial law and is ready for negotiations. However, the govt. wants to resolve the dispute using power, rather than negotiations.Causes/ReasonsSome analysts believe that a Muslim Separatist Group linked to Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda group has masterminded the attacks in Southern Thailand. The Thai Government believe that they are a group of Guerillas/Bandits who aim to spread violence and make money. However, according to the locals these extremist are fighting for the local’s rights. According to the locals, in the past decade or so, nearly all of the provinces in Thailand and neighbouring country Malaysia have developed a lot and enjoyed the strong economy. Whereas, their provinces (Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani) have hardly developed much and have hardly got any govt. support in social, financial and economical aspect. They have accused the government for undermining them and not caring about the development of the provinces. Many of the Teenagers caught who have been accused of spreading violence, accepted the offer due to being unemployed and needing the money. The locals further accuse the police for harsh treatment and torture, asking for money, whereas the govt. denies it and claims of stopping drug traffickers.The reason this violence has intensified is due to both sides being strong in their position. The Thai govt. believes that they are trying to stop drug dealers and bandits are causing the South Violence. They want to use force to break and finish of those involved in the mastermind of the January attacks. On the other side, the locals are upset of the government’s role and are ready to intensify their attacks in order to keep their identity, which they say the Thai Govt. is trying to undermine.EffectsThe Violence in the South of Thailand can have very deadly effects on Thailand and its Economy. According to analysts, the violence in South has been intensifying due to needs not met of the Muslim Separatists. With this increasing violence, there will be more conflicts between the fighters and the army people. This will lead to more deaths in the South and if needed, the extremists can plant and blow more places up, risking more deaths and great loss of property. If not stopped, the violence in the South can get worse. More raids on Army camps, more violence can be spread around the province and maybe to other provinces. Additionally, it could tarnish the country’s image and the political group in power of their lack of thought and control over the region.Countries in Europe and America are calling their people to leave the South Area. This might cause great loss to the economy and the social effect of the South. It might also bitter the relations with other countries. Investors scared of investing, can stop investing and take their money out. This might cause the stock market to plunge down and the economy to come under recession. Thailand’s biggest sector that makes most of the country’s GDP is the Tourism Industry. However, due to the violence, foreigners are less willing to travel to Thailand, esp. the South and look at alternative places. This has hampered the Tourism industry and it can worsen, if the government doesn’t quickly take action.The major scares are the actions of the youths of the South. Due to employment and the need of money, the youths have instead joined hands to spread violence and earn money. Analysts are scared that Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda may recruit these young youth and use them against Thailand and maybe for other Terror activities around the world. This is not only a major concern for Thailand’s security, but could really dent Thailand’s Image of its lack of actions for not controlling the violence.SolutionsThe present solution of the government of using power and not negotiations to take control of the area and subside the violence, will only further bitter the relations between the government and the locals and cause more violence to spread. PM Thaksin believes that the only way to solve the problem is to find the ones who caused the January assault and to bring them to action, even if this needs violence. This will not only worsen the situation, but might result in more deadly effects of the security of the provinces and of the country.However, the government has also taken some proper steps that might help in solving the South Problem. The cabinet has recently announced a 12 Billion Baht ($307 million) budget that aims at developing the economy and the place of the South. Additionally, the PM has gone to the violence proned area, talking to people about the violence, problems occurring and have asked for jobs to be made, in order to give the locals some work.

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