Thailand

Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

Official Full Name: Kingdom of Thailand

Region: Southeast Asia

Capital: Bangkok

Population: 67,976,405

Ethnic Groups: Thai 95.9%, Burmese 2%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.9%

Languages: Thai (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8%

Religions: Buddhist (official) 93.6%, Muslim 4.9%, Christian 1.2%, other 0.2%, none 0.1%

Government: Constitutional Monarchy Under Military Junta

Legislature: National Assembly (Currently Dissolved)

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A. South Thailand Insurgency

Type of Conflict: Ethnic, Religious

Conventionally Dated Period: 1960 – Present

Parties Involved:

  • Thailand
  • National Revolution Front, Patani United Liberation Organization, Jemaah Islamiyah

Summary:

Thailand, although a majority Buddhist country, has a significant Muslim population in the South near the border of Malaysia.  The Kingdom of Siam (former name for Thailand) conquered the Sultanate of Patani and incorporated it under its realm in 1785.  Under the ex-Prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s policy on tolerance to “win over the hearts and minds,” violence has largely been reduced in the area.  The action was reversed when the military junta ousted Shinawatra and used a more direct approach to ensure peace in the region.  Although the new prime minister expressed hope and optimism about this tactic, the amount of violence increased drastically in 2012.  With the support of international Islamic fundamentalist groups, the rebels are now targeting native Buddhists, Christians, and even Muslims who support the government.

Peace Progress: No