Former school administrator shot dead in Thai south

Man worked as advisor to chair of provincial administration organization of Yala - 1 of 3 provinces wracked by insurgency

Former school administrator shot dead in Thai south

World Bulletin / News Desk

A former public school administrator has been shot dead in a market in Thailand’s Muslim majority south in what police suspect to be the latest operation against the Thai central State.

The dead man also worked as an advisor to the chairman of the provincial administration organization of Yala -- one of three southern provinces close to Thailand's border with Malaysia where separatist insurgents are waging a decade-old struggle

Schoolteachers, administrators and civil servants are often seen as targets by the insurgents who consider them as representing the Thai state.

Police captain Pongsak Promaket, deputy-investigator at Yala police station, said that the man was ambushed by gunmen

“The 59-year-old former school administrator was selling goods on a market in Yala province, when a group of men drew guns and shot him repeatedly before fleeing.”

The southern insurgency -- active in Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani -- is rooted in a century-old ethno-cultural conflict between Malay Muslims living in the region and the Thai central state where Buddhism is considered the de-facto national religion.

Armed insurgent groups were formed in the 1960s after the then-military dictatorship tried to interfere in Islamic schools, but the insurgency faded in the 1990s.

In 2004, a rejuvenated armed movement -- composed of numerous local cells of fighters loosely grouped around the National Revolutionary Front, or BRN -- emerged.

After the military seized power in May 2014, the junta continued the overthrown elected civilian government’s policy of holding peace talks with insurgent groups.

A recent report on the south by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, has claimed, however, that the talks have “foundered” as both sides “prefer hostilities to compromise”.

“The National Council for Peace and Order [NCPO], which seized power in the 2014 coup, professes to support dialogue to end the insurgency but avoids commitment,” the report said, referring to the ruling junta by its official name.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ocak 2017, 13:05
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