Is Malaysia Covertly Supporting Insurgency In Southern Thailand?
There are real fears that the bloody Islamic insurgency could erupt into total war between the major religious communities. The festering insurgency that has already taken more than 2,000 lives could become an all-out sectarian conflict between the Muslim and Buddhist communities.
Drive-by shootings and bombings occur almost daily in Thailand's three Muslim-majority provinces — Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani — and increasingly in the neighboring province of Songkhla. Violence in the south has increased since a military-installed government took power despite pledges from the prime minister to reverse the iron-fisted approach of his predecessor, Thaksin Shinawatra, toppled by a coup in September.
Amid all this killing and maiming comes the news that suspected insurgents detained in a raid in the southern province of Narathiwat early Wednesday morning were found to be carrying Malaysian currency. A total of eleven suspects, eight men and three women were arrested and the security forces seized several weapons and components for making bombs. The finger of suspicion of course was pointing to Malaysia. While Malaysians and even the government may feel sympathy towards the plight of fellow Muslims in the restive South and may have given moral support, there is not a shred of evidence that the government has in any way promoted the insurgency raging there.
It is therefore natural and understandable that our Prime Minister rejected any notion of Malaysian involvement in the conflict there when he said that carrying Malaysian currency need not necessarily mean they are Malaysian citizens.
I personally don't think our government would risk damaging relations with fellow ASEAN member, Thailand and face the international consequences of encouraging insurgency. But who knows? Stranger things have happened in this unpredictable world of ours.
Image - Source
An interesting read, HERE
Update 4/5/07 : Malaysia says no spillover from unrest in southern Thailand
Labels: Foreign Affairs