Thailand has alienated Muslims in its insurgency-racked south and risks the involvement of foreign Islamic extremists unless it softens emergency measures there, the International Crisis Group said yesterday.
Last month the government renewed an emergency decree enforced in July in three southern Muslim-majority provinces to deal with unrest that has killed more than 1,000 people since January last year.
The government meant it to be a softer version of martial law, but many have said the broad powers it gives to security forces have increased abuses and inflamed the insurgency there. While there is no evidence that foreign militants are currently involved, the worsening crisis risks being exploited by outside extremists groups looking to recruit and train new fighters, said the group in a report.
"There are legitimate concerns that if the violence worsens, it might be exploited by jihadi groups to establish a new area for training and recruitment," it said.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should take "immediate steps" to moderate the decree or risk plunging the area into worse violence, the Brussels-based conflict prevention group said.
"Trust between Malay Muslim villagers and security forces has broken down completely in some areas," Crisis Group analyst Francesca Lawe-Davies said. "In practice, the government's powers are the same as under martial law, but with less accountability."
The group said the decree leaves loopholes that allows security forces to arbitrarily detain and abuse suspects.
Another emerging problem involves police and military blacklisting villagers, often using weak intelligence and evidence.
"Those on the lists are told to surrender or face arrest or worse. While the government denies such lists are being used, village headmen confirm the practice," the group said.
The report comes amid a surge in violence in the deep south bordering Malaysia. Twenty people have died in a little over a week, including nine members from the same family who were killed in their sleep on Wednesday.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made