Flag of Thailand
  1. Thailand Main Page
  2. A Military Coup and Government Failure
  3. Economic Collapse and Subsequent Growth
  4. The Violent Drug Trade and Insurgency; A Tsunami Devastates
  5. Fallout from a Corrupt Government
  6. A New Constitution and the End of Military Rule
  7. The People's Alliance for Democracy and Protesting Status Quo
  8. Anti-Government Protests Continue and Turn Deadly
  9. Party Backed by Thaksin Shinawatra Sweeps 2011 Elections
  10. Elections Held Despite Anti-Government Protests
  11. Military Stages a Coup
The Violent Drug Trade and Insurgency; A Tsunami Devastates

In Feb. 2003, Thaksin announced plans to eliminate the drug trade from Thailand within three months. When the operation concluded at the end of April, nearly 2,300 people had been killed. Government officials claimed responsibility for about 35 of the casualties, blaming drug dealers and gang members for the other deaths. Human rights activists, however, suspected police forces had been overly aggressive in their campaign.

Violence has plagued Thailand's Muslim-dominated southern provinces since the beginning of 2004, with armed insurgents attacking police stations, security stations, and military depots. Nearly 800 people have been killed in the attacks, which officials attribute to Islamic militants. The violence intensified in July 2005, prompting Thaksin to declare a state of emergency in the south. Pattani Province was rocked by attacks in Feb. 2007, when some 30 coordinated bombs exploded at bars, hotels, and electricity transmitters. While the insurgents have been vague in explaining their motivation for such attacks, the most recent bombings suggest they are targeting Buddhists as well as other Muslims.

On Dec. 26, 2004, a tremendously powerful tsunami ravaged 12 Asian countries. Thailand reported about 5,300 casualties.

Next: Fallout from a Corrupt Government
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