What is the Southern Thailand Muslim Separatist Insurgency all About?

Screenshot from Mark Oltmanns’ excellent video – “Thailand Bomb Squad”


With yet more bomb attacks in Tak Bai and other areas of Narathiwat in Southern Thailand this weekend, I thought it was about time I talked a little bit about the Southern Thailand Muslim separatist insurgency that has been getting increasingly stronger since around 2001. But, as the situation is so complicated and few, including the Thai government, really know why there is so much unrest in Thailand’s deep south, the Southern Thailand Muslim insurgency is hard to describe.

Then I came across an excellent video on YouTube — ‘Thailand Bomb Squad’ that was created by an American journalism student from Berkeley, Mark Oltmanns. In just 11 minutes, it gives you a good idea about what is happening in Thailand’s deep south and how both Muslims and Buddhists are being targeted with bombings, shootings and massacres.

While watching the video, do watch the segment about the Tak Bai Incident closely, as this is when most observers of the troubles in the south will tell you the insurgency became much more violent and much more aggressive in nature.

In some respects, you really cannot blame them, as Tak Bai was one of the worst human rights violations ever to happen in Thailand.

As it stands at the moment, no matter what the Thai government tries to do the South Thailand insurgency seems to be getting worse.

As a visitor to Thailand, if you plan on traveling around, please know, most of Thailand is an incredibly safe place to be. Just avoid the deep south as, no matter how lovely many of the people are, it is unfortunately not a safe place to be even for foreigners.


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