So Far, Coup Hasn’t Helped Violence in Thailand’s South

So Far, Coup Hasn’t Helped Violence in Thailand’s South

BANGKOK, Thailand -- For army conscript Pramote Wannasuk, 22, and villager Dison Mansu, 36, the military coup in Thailand and all it promises for positive change came too late.

Both men, Pramote a Buddhist and Dison a Muslim, were murdered this week in the quiet terrorism that plagues this predominantly Buddhist country's religiously and culturally divided south. They are among more than 50 people who have been killed or wounded in the past 10 days alone in an escalating conflict that has left about 1,800 dead and many more wounded over the last almost three years.

Many hoped that the coup, on Sept. 19, would bring an end to this violence. The army moved in to oust the divisive and, many contend, deeply corrupt elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra, whose abrasive policy towards the south has been blamed for escalating a conflict that has simmered for many years, but which has taken on much greater significance in the post 9/11 world.

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