While Thailand's south and its majority Muslim citizens might have been marginalised over the decades by Bangkok, and insurgency has been an inevitability, the recent brutal murder of a 76-year old Buddhist monk (and 2 teenage boys) was hardly an act of political defiance or civil rights resistance.
It has been nothing more a criminal act of religious hatred. What has a 76-old monk done to disadvantage or brutalise the Thai Muslims? There is no more peaceful religious personality than a Buddhist monk. The religious creed of Buddhist monks have been the hallmark of peace, tranquility and compassion.
In this unjustified religious brutality, the higher objective of a fight for Muslim rights or autonomy or even soujtern secession has been lost to primitive criminal violence.
PM Thaksin has already put his name on the blame list if he can't pacify Thailand's south so we may expect an geometric escalation of Bangkok's military suppression, which will in turn increase cross-border strain between Thailand and its predominantly Muslim neighbour, Malaysia.
While the Federal government of Malaysia has been at pains to demonstrate its hands-off approach to Thailand's Muslim insurgent problem, there are parties in Malaysia that have a history of supporting, morally, financially and logistically, Thailand's Islamic insurgents. The situation worsens.