I wrote the following letter which was published in The Nation today.
Media has also failed to do what it can in the South
Opinion pieces in The Nation frequently lambaste the government for its failure to stem the violence afflicting Thailand’s deep South. However, the media also needs to engage in a little introspection. The Thai media may have succeeded in reporting the what, where and when of the southern violence, but it has failed drastically in reporting the who, how and why. The hostile environment there does make a journalist’s work difficult. However, journalists around the world still manage to report from even more dangerous places, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are many questions that remain unanswered about the deep South. To what extent are criminal gangs involved in the violence? Are these gangs simply using the breakdown in the rule of law as a cover for their activities or are they directly involved in instigating violence? How much of the violence is home-grown and how much is the result of links with militant Islamic groups in other countries?
Until questions like these can be answered there will be no end to the troubles of the South. If the government can’t answer these questions then perhaps the media can.