Last week's murderous attack on visiting farmers in Pattani puts the southern conflict at a crossroads. It gives the government clear notice that the country is facing mortal danger. The killing of men trying to help the southern region's economy can only be called a serious threat to the nation, and the government must face up to it or put the nation at risk.
The attack on Friday on an agricultural team was more than just another escalation of the conflict by southern extremists. Two young farmers from Sing Buri were shot and killed in the ambush in Bo Loy village. Ten others were wounded.
The Central region farmers were in Pattani to help southern farmers revive rice fields, which have been put to rubber or left fallow because of the security threat. The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) began the project last year.