Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Inch by inch... step by step...

Thailand "considers" Sharia law in troubled Muslim south
Posted: 25 January 2007 0341 hrs

Rebels kill two in Thailand's south

Thailand extends emergency rule in south

Two teachers killed, set ablaze in Thailand's Muslim south

BANGKOK : Thailand is considering introducing elements of Sharia law in the troubled Muslim-majority south in an effort to quell the bloody insurgency raging there, the premier said on Wednesday.
Surayud Chulanont said his government, installed after a coup last September, wanted the justice system in the three provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani to be more in line with Islamic law.
"My government will improve the justice system to make the system more reliable, and we are considering bringing in parts of Sharia law," he told a seminar of Thai diplomats and ambassadors based in Muslim countries, who had travelled to Bangkok for the meeting.
"Sharia law is already in place for family issues such as divorce. The Justice Ministry is studying what additional measures can be introduced," he told reporters after the meeting.
He rejected suggestions that the unrest in the provinces bordering Malaysia was connected to an international terrorism movement, but admitted that the militants had used religion to galvanise support.
More than 1,800 people, both Buddhist and Muslim, have been killed in the southernmost provinces - which were an independent Malay sultanate until 1902 - since the latest insurgency broke out three years ago.
"The current unrest in the south has nothing to do with terrorism," Surayud said.


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