Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thailand Update

I haven't written about the aftermath of the Thai coup in awhile but a couple of good Asia Times articles reminds me that it is time. Shawn Crispin writes of the immense, if unofficial power of the Thai monarch. Although he is ailing, he is also riding high. The use of royal symbolism by the coup essentially assures us that the Thai monarchy supported it, although the military has tried to distance the palace from the coup.

More disturbing is the continued unrest in the Muslim southern edge of the country. One of the complaints about deposed Prime Minister Thaksin was his inability to control the Muslim insurgency. But Marwaan Macan-Markar writes that insurgents are now forcing schools to close and the Thai military is helpless to stop the violence. The Muslims look at Thai-run schools as particularly offensive, dating back a 1921 law forcing ethnic Malays to attend them. Things are not looking good on this front.