Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thailand's New Muslim Leadership

A Thai-speaking friend who spent a couple years in Thailand and knows the politics and culture, assured me, after the latest coup that "that's the way they deal with leaders who take too much on themselves" and continued, "the military at the Monarchy's request, removes the offending office-holder and installs someone better." I was reassured somewhat.

Not so fast, says Charles at Little Green Footballs:

The new Muslim prime minister of Thailand, installed by military coup, has apologized to Muslims in the south.

And he’s urging the “limited use” of shari’a law.

PATTANI, Thailand - Thailand’s interim prime minister publicly apologized Thursday for the former government’s hard-line policies against an Islamic insurgency, promising an investigation into allegations of human rights abuses by the administration deposed in a recent coup.

In an unexpected initiative, Chulanont Surayud also said he would urge the limited use of Islamic law in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south to settle some disputes, especially over inheritance and family affairs, he said.

Surayud was accompanied by army chief Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, a practicing Muslim who led the Sept. 19 coup. Previous governments have shown little acceptance of Muslim culture.

An “unexpected initiative?” Not unexpected at LGF:
Thailand Coup Installs Muslim Prime Minister
The Real Subtext of the Thai Coup

This is not good at all.

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