No living Thai can remember when the far South was not an active problem.
Over the decades, there have been protests and petitions, demands and delegations. During the 1980s, and again in the past decade, radicals from both the region and outside have led a nasty insurgency. It has taken thousands of lives _ at least 5,000 since 2004 alone.
Governments have alternately tried to ignore the violence or wrung their hands over it, always claiming that force would subdue the rebellious and that the causes of the violence were unknown.
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