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Thailand In Turmoil
Rebel Bomb Attacks in Southern Thailand

A series of explosions killed one person and injured more than a dozen in southern Thailand yesterday, against the backdrop of a worsening political crisis in the north. Yala province, where the car bombs were detonated on Sunday, is one of three mainly-Muslim provinces in the south that have long agitated for autonomy. The southern Thailand rebels may be capitalizing on Bangkok’s political distractions to up their efforts.

Those distractions may be set to grow even more intense. On Saturday, opposition leader Suthep Thaugsuban vowed to petition the Thai King for an appointment as head of government. Last week the Constitutional Court accepted a case put forward by 27 Senators seeking to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. And the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s recent investigation into a rice-buying scheme could also force Shinawatra out of office.

But Shinawatra’s supporters (“Red Shirts”) are mobilizing to protect her administration from the Courts and from the opposition protestors (“Yellow Shirts”), who follow Suthep. Red Shirt leaders held a three-day rally on the outskirts of Bangkok, where tens of thousands gathered to hear pro-government speeches. The head of the National Security Council told reporters he wasn’t confident the police could maintain order if rival groups began fighting in the streets.

Thailand’s troubles don’t show any sign of abating. Bangkok will have its work cut out for it as it copes with unrest in both the north and the south.

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  • NC Chew

    Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was democratically elected. Removing her by any undemocratic means will set a dangerous precedent.

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