Wave of small explosions hit southern Thailand after king signs new charter

japan times

Reuters, Apr 7, 2017Thai police on Friday reported 22 attacks, including at least five small bomb blasts, in Muslim-majority southern Thailand only hours after King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed a new constitution on Thursday as a step toward ending military rule.

There were no immediate reports of casualties in the attacks in the region where there has been a recent upsurge in a decades-old Muslim separatist insurgency. Parts of the region voted against the new constitution at a referendum last year.

“The incidents are to create disturbances. They want to destroy the government’s credibility and create fear among people,” said Pramote Prom-in, spokesman for local security forces.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility and security forces said they did not know who was to blame.

On Thursday Thailand’s king signed a military-backed constitution into law, an essential step toward an election the junta has promised will restore democracy after the 12th successful coup in little over 80 years.

The new constitution is the Southeast Asian country’s 20th since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932 and critics say it will still give the generals a powerful say over Thai politics for years, if not decades.

Voters in the most heavily Muslim parts of Thailand were among the few to reject the draft constitution in last year’s referendum.

Security forces said five bombs had exploded on electric poles, causing local power cuts, and there had been a number of tire-burning incidents.

Details were not immediately available of all the attacks, and a large number of coordinated attacks in the region is unusual.

A Malay Muslim separatist insurgency in the provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat has claimed more than 6,500 lives since it escalated in 2004, according to independent monitoring group Deep South Watch.

On Monday, police reported what they described as the biggest attack by insurgents in the south in years. They said about 30 insurgents had fired more than 500 shots into a police booth.

In February, the government of the Buddhist-majority country struck a deal with MARA Patani, a long-standing umbrella group that claims to speak for the insurgents, but other separatists rejected it.

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This entry was posted in Thailand - Thái Lan and tagged , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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