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Crafty_Dog
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« on: February 24, 2007, 08:22:14 PM »

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/thais-sense-of-self-th...ullpage#contentSwap1

Thais' sense of self threatened by insurgency

Tom Allard National Security Editor
February 24, 2007

Brutality a man carries a bar girl injured in a bombing in Yala province last Sunday.
Photo: AFP

BEHEADINGS, mutilated Buddhist monks, assassinations of secular teachers, mass-casualty attacks - the Islamist insurgency raging in Thailand's south is getting more barbaric and effective with each passing month.

That is the assessment of terrorism analysts and Thai Government advisers after a spate of co-ordinated and deadly bombings this week, and warnings of more to come, including in Bangkok.

Even more worrying is the possibility of attacks on tourist resorts where Westerners, including thousands of Australians, flock.

"The brutality is amazing," said Zachary Abuza, a US terrorism expert who specialises in a conflict that has simmered for decades. "For the previous generation, these acts would have been considered unseemly. No one would have done things like hacking apart monks, blowing them up when they are collecting their alms, targeting women and children."

Thailand's Islamic minority, centred on four provinces abutting Malaysia, has long complained of mistreatment. But the ferocity of the insurgency has stunned the Government, with more than 2000 people killed since 2004.

There have been about 30 beheadings, and 60 more botched attempts. More than 60 teachers have died, along with hundreds of bystanders, police and soldiers.

"This is new to the Thai people," said Panitan Wattanayagorn, an academic who advises the Prime Minister, Surayud Chulanont. "It's been quite a shock. Thais are learning about cultural differences. They assumed everyone was Thai, had the Thai national identity. Apparently, not so."

The bombs are becoming larger and more sophisticated, and the ideology underpinning the attacks more virulent.

Dr Abuza said: "It's more Islamist than it's ever been [but] they want separate communities, from private Islamic schools to their own courts. They are convincing women not to go to hospital to give birth."

The insurgency has received scant attention in the West, which is puzzling given the scale of the violence and Thailand's popularity as a tourist destination.

For Thailand's military-backed government, deposing Thaksin Shinawatra in September was justified, at least in part, by his inability to come to grips with the insurgency. It was Mr Thaksin who reacted with indifference when mosques were attacked and when 78 unarmed protesters died of asphyxiation in the back of army trucks. This infuriated Thai Muslims and prompted a surge of recruits.

However, a public apology, the dropping of charges against protesters, even a willingness to introduce a degree of Islamic law in the region have failed to gain the Government any kudos.

The Thai authorities do not even know who their enemy is, Dr Abuza says. The insurgents operate in largely autonomous cells, never stating their goals or accepting responsibility for attacks.

Jemaah Islamiah and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups have been in contact with the insurgency - the JI leader Hambali was arrested in Thailand - but the consensus is that it remains self-directed.

Nevertheless, it has adopted many techniques of the global jihadist movement, from simultaneous bomb attacks, to the emphasis on civilian targets. Like Jemaah Islamiah, it also abhors the West, in particular the nightclubs, bars and others "dens of sin" that are so common in Bangkok and the tourist towns.

Tourism operators, who are enjoying a revival in business following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, are terrified, Professor Panitan said. Muslims in Phuket "watch anyone who comes up from the south very closely. It's worked to date, but how long will it hold?" Dr Abuza says information from Phuket's Muslim minority led to the arrests of a group of suspected insurgents in November.

For now, Dr Abuza believes the insurgents will stay away from tourist centres. "It would be easy enough [to attack tourists]. But I don't think they have to yet, because they are winning. The change of strategy comes when you are losing.

"If they were backed into a corner, I don't think they would hesitate for a second."
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Russ
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 11:30:49 PM »

Woof All,

I just got back from Bangkok last week after spending several days there during the Red Shirt Protests.

When I arrived on May 19th, the city was in chaos.  The premier downtown luxury shopping area near Siam Square was on fire.  Driving to the city from the airport, I could see a plume of smoke in the sky that reminded me of what I saw from the top of my law school building in NYC on 9-11.

The purpose of my visit was to see my friend Nelson Rand.  He is a Canadian journalist who is an expert in SE Asian Security Issues.  He was shot by assault rifle fire while covering the Protest on May 14th near Lumpini Park.  One of the three bullets that hit him severed his femoral artery at his mid thigh.  He bled out while being carried to the hospital, but luckily was able to get into the emergency room in time for them to save him.

The night I arrived was the first night that the Government imposed a curfew, 8pm to 6am I believe.  Nelson's hospital was in Silom, just west of the Protests and I could not get anyone to take me any farther than Sukhumvit Road that night.  When I arrived on Sukhumvit Soi 1 just off the expressway ramp, there were hundreds of soldiers heavily armed many with more than one assault rifle.  This is usually a street filled with tourists and business people.  It was shocking.

I arrived in Silom the next day and visited Nelson.  He was groggy, but recovering well.  That night just before curfew, I went out with a Burmese journalist on his motorbike.  I had a kevlar jacket and helmet on, but as the streets darkened it got frightening.  The soldiers were on edge and we saw more than one unlock the safety on their rifles as we approached.

The next day, I walked up to the area where Silom Road and Pat Pong intersect.  This is the famous nightlife area of Bangkok.  If you have ever seen that famous photo of Phnom Penh in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge evacuated the city then you have an idea of what it looked like.  Again, shocking.  Usually this area is filled with business people and tourists.

The city started to recover after several more days, and business reopened, but Bangkok of all places was not where I would have expected this type of violence.

Here is a link to a news report which includes some of the footage that Nelson captured while he was shot:

http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/bangkok-riots/16ar6ejlu
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 09:14:11 AM by Russ » Logged

C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 10:40:34 AM »

I hope your friend has a full recovery. Glad he survived.
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Russ
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 09:12:18 AM »

Thanks G M!  Nelson is out of the hospital now, and recovering well.  It looks like the Thai Parliment is calling for all parties to reach for national reconciliation as well before holding elections early next year.
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C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 09:47:20 AM »

Woof Russ:

I missed this thread until just now. 

That must have been scary for your friend.  Glad to hear that he made it , , , and that you too are OK.

You are a man of much adventure!
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Russ
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 10:01:52 AM »

Nice shot of his leg injury in the original article here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/38265/the-red-shirt-guard-who-saved-my-life

The red shirt guard 'who saved my life'

The recent red shirt protest was a bleak and dramatic time for foreign reporters, with the death of two correspondents and numerous others injured. But one Bangkok-based Canadian journalist owes his life to an heroic rescue by a red shirt guard

    * Published: 6/06/2010 at 12:00 AM
    * Newspaper section: News

Nelson Rand is unsure how long he was clinically dead. One doctor said two minutes, another said three and a third said six. After days on morphine recovering in intensive care wards in two Bangkok hospitals, Rand is not 100% certain about the exact details of his remarkable recovery.

GUARDIAN ANGEL: Nelson Rand with his saviour, Oan Thirawat. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NELSON RAND

However, it seems unquestionable that this thoughtful and energetic Canadian - a correspondent for France24 news channel - has had a most remarkable near-death experience.

Recuperating in a room in the Bangkok Nursing Home (BNH) in Convent Road, Rand has had plenty of time to ponder the dramatic moments when he became a big story internationally and survived by the narrowest of margins. It is hard to think of a closer brush with death.

Bed-ridden with four serious wounds - three from bullets - he came to realise fairly quickly that his extraordinary survival was due not only to a team of dedicated doctors at Chulalongkorn Hospital, but also to a red shirt guard who put his own life at considerable risk to pull him out of harm's way and rush him to hospital.

It was three weeks ago: Friday, May 14, about 2pm the day after rogue general Seh Daeng was shot in the head by a sniper.

Rand, who has lived and worked in Bangkok for the best part of a decade, was down alongside Lumpini Park, near the thick of the action, reporting on a street battle in bright sunlight in the heart of the city.

''I was filming with the army and I tried to get across to the other side and I got shot when I tried to get across. I took a risk and I paid for it. I knew what I was doing,'' he recalled in a slightly hoarse voice from his hospital bed.

Rand, 34, wore a black shirt and sunglasses, but he is not sure if that was a factor in his being shot. The first bullet hit him in the left hand.

LIFE-THREATENING: Rand almost died from a leg wound which severed his artery.

''I was on the ground trying to get to cover, then I was shot in the leg and abdomen.

''I'll never forget _ I could see my vein, the inside of my hand _ and I was thinking 'this is not good'.''

He had screamed in pain and dropped his camera, which kept recording.

The bullet that struck him in the leg was the one that nearly killed him, as it cut his femoral artery and caused him to lose a lot of blood, while a third bullet passed through his left side.

Rand's buddy John Sanlin captured the drama on film _ footage that was shown around the world on CNN within hours.

His plight had also been noted by a red shirt guard who had experience working for an emergency rescue team, similar to Poh Teck Tung.

''I was screaming for help and he slowly crawled across the street under fire to get me. There's some clips of it on some Thai [web] sites that show it. He clearly went to the line of fire to come and get me.

''I don't remember seeing him coming to get me, but I remember he grabbed my arm and dragged me away. Somehow there was a motorbike and I was put in the middle, between him and a guy on the back holding me.''

They roared off on the red guard's bike while still under fire, across to Chulalongkorn Hospital. The bike has two bullet holes at the front from that ride.

''That's when I got my foot injury _ it was dragging along the road and I just had a sock on. It's all black now 'cos the skin's dead. It ground down to the bone.''

The stranger who had saved his life stayed at the hospital until he was through several hours of surgery and had survived.

Rand has a vague dream-like recollection of ''a stage of something I've never felt _ maybe between life and death, something that I can't explain''. He said he'd heard different versions from doctors about his heart stopping, until he was given a packet of blood and shock treatment to restart his heart.

''I believe from what people told me my blood had about run out - they gave me a lot of bags [of blood] and revived me after one bag. I think I had a few minutes when I was clinically dead, or - I don't know what it's called - but they had to revive me.'' Shortly after, he was transferred away from the ''red zone'' to BNH. In an interview after his accident with Canadian colleague Steve Sandford, Rand said he wanted to locate the red shirt guard who saved his life - and thank him.

''He put his own life at risk and he didn't even know me. That's what I call true heroism _ a true selfless act, which I think only a few people are capable of. I'd like to ask if there's one thing he wants, because I'd like to get it. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here.''

Sandford's wife Am, a ''fixer'' for foreign news crews, contacted Thai PBS, which had people who were able to track down the red shirt guard. Days later, he was brought to Rand's hospital room for a heartfelt message of thanks _ watched by Nelson's parents, who had flown over from Calgary, and filmed by Sandford.

Oan Thirawat, 25, said soldiers were still shooting when he ran across the road to grab Rand and sprint to get away.

''I was always thinking I had to help him because it's my job. When people are hurt around the protest site I have to help them. I have to help them in the danger zone. I have to get them out first, no matter what.

''I was afraid that I couldn't save him in time. I rushed to get him to the hospital. We had an accident on the way. I could not stop in time and the red shirts didn't clear the way for me. I already contacted them to clear the way, but they didn't. We had five motorbikes with victims. The first one led us to the hospital.

''Before I came back, I stayed for about three hours at the hospital with Nelson to make sure he was okay, until the doctors finished the surgery. I felt very happy that I saved one life. Life is very valuable.

''For the red shirts, we help all people. Even the wounded soldiers we will help. We try to save anyone's life, even the foreigners or police. We help them all. From my experience, I help people who are in traffic accidents or rescue people in fires.''

On his Facebook page, Rand, still in a wheelchair, posted a shot of Oan with him on his first night out of hospital early last week.

Rand's book Conflict, published by Maverick House last year, details adventures in the life of a reporter visiting flashpoints in Cambodia, Burma's Karen State, Laos and southern Thailand. But his best chapter is surely yet to be penned.
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C-Bad Dog, Lakan Guro DBMA
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G M
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 10:10:19 AM »

Even in the US, with EMS on scene and immediate access to a level one trauma center, chances of surviving a rifle wound that severs the femoral artery are not good.
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G M
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 10:16:16 AM »

**With their violent behavior based on their totalitarian theology, it was only a matter of time that others lash out at those brutal Buddhist monks.

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=29474&lan=eng

2011-07-14

ASIA/THAILAND-Buddhists massacred by Islamic rebels in the South: the first challenge for new government

 invia articolo printable version preferiti


Bangkok (Fides Service) - While the country is looking for a "common ground" on which to rebuild the fabric of a split society, and seeks paths for "national reconciliation" after the general elections won by the young leader Yingluck Shinawatra, the Muslim onset in the south of the country strongly returns. Violence and bloodshed are carried out against defenseless families: the victims are mostly Buddhists in the extreme south of Thailand, in the three provinces where most of the people are Muslims (Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat) on the border with Malaysia, and this is where the victims, a small minority live and are targeted by rebel groups who use terrorist methods.
 As sources of Fides in southern Thailand inform- asking for anonymity for security reasons - recently a Buddhist family was massacred and two boys beheaded and left to bleed to death. "They are all innocent victims, guilty only for not being Muslims", notes the source of Fides, referring to the text of a pamphlet distributed by the terrorist groups operating in the area: "We will kill, burn, and destroy all Buddhists: you will never be able to live in peace here". "The Pattani Islamic guerrillas announce that they will never stop the slaughter of infidels of Siam until the land of Pattani does not become an Islamic state", the text says.
 Fides source says that a significant role in spreading such subversive ideas is due to the "madrasas" schools that Islamic jihadist groups set up to indoctrinate the minds of children and young people and that, unknown to the journalist, "should be controlled and closed by state authorities".
 "The Thai government cannot and must not remain indifferent to this conflict, which is also fueled by Islamic terrorist organizations abroad, from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and in front of an unprecedented violence against innocent people. The conflict, among the deadliest and most horrific of Southeast Asia - the source of Fides remarks - must become a priority on the agenda of the new government".
 In about seven years of armed insurgency and guerrilla warfare, Islamic terrorist groups in southern Thailand have claimed more than 4,000 victims, particularly police officers, teachers and Buddhist monks, accused of spreading an educational model incompatible with Islam. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 07/14/2011)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 10:16:55 PM »



http://www.michaelyon-online.com/from-the-hearts-of-thai-people.htm
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