Saturday, December 18, 2004

Killings In Southern Thailand

After the "origami peace bombs" comes the official enquiry. The government-appointed panel into the Tak Bai tragedy in Muslim Southern Thailand, in which seven protesters were shot dead and 78 others died while in military custody, has just reported. The findings are ambiguous. According to this BBC report, the head of the investigation, Pichet Soontornpipit, has said that the protesters were not killed deliberately, adding that there was no evidence the deaths were intended. However, both The Nation and the Bangkok Post (registration required) note that at least three senior security officials have been found responsible for the tragedy and named. But the enquiry has stopped short of holding them accountable. In all of this the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, remains in the clear. So long as there is no satisfactory public accounting for the kllings at Tak Bai then the panel's findings are unlikely to quell the growing discontent in Southern Thailand.


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