There is a pro-democracy movement in Thailand rehashed recently by protests against lese majeste laws. This movement is constantly in the spotlight, but Thailand’s deep south conflict has largely escaped the rather. This article in ASEAN Today examines this situation. Here is an excerpt:
As Thailand’s pro-democracy movement continues to push reform despite police crackdowns and arrests, the ongoing conflict in Thailand’s far southern provinces rarely enters the conversation.
Since 2004, armed militants in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala and the Thai military have engaged in an intermittent conflict that has killed over 7,200 people and injured 13,400. As many as 90% of the casualties have been civilians. The largest rebel group is the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), a Malay separatist group. Malay Muslims constitute around three quarters of the population in the deep south.
Though the violence has decreased since 2013, attempts to reach any sort of peace settlement have repeatedly failed and the Thai military is left waging its own version of a low-intensity “forever war”—costing over US$8.6 billion since 2004.