The conflict in the deep South is not going at all well for the government and security forces during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Bombings are up, militant gang members have stepped up both random and targeted killings, and it is finally crystal clear that an extensive illicit drugs operation is helping to fuel the conflict.
Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha and Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung agree on at least one part of the problem _ the media.
This is an especially serious matter because the two men are the top two security officials in charge of ending the violence in the South. Neither the army commander nor the head of the new, Bangkok-based anti-insurgency centre have taken broad swipes at newspapers, TV and radio stations and other media. But both have shown a clear contempt for the press. More importantly, however, they have also demonstrated that they have no real grasp of what the media does, or why.