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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

South Sea: Take How Many Years to Realize this?

Isara news reported that the 2nd region Navy will ask for integrated patrolling of the lower Andaman sea. The regional Navy forces, Regional Customs Officer and Thai Water Police are requested to cooperate and inspect any suspicious ships that could smuggle arms and explosive, particularly dual nationality ships and modified ships. And it has been how many years already?

Earlier I have a map of possible (and actual) routes of arms smuggling, which obviously can be shipped to the three southernmost provinces. Without insider information, I think waves after waves of illegal or para legal weapons had been smuggled through existing routes already since the beginning of the conflict. Now it is the year 2008.

During a presentation made at ICTS10, I was informed that piracy in international water of Southeast Asia, are active in arms smuggling. I still owed it to the suggestion and looking forwards to find some papers. (There are papers but I was pretty inactive developing my paper further.)

It is now the time to stop using an argument like “porous borders.”

กองเรือภาคที่ 2 คุมเข้มอ่าวไทยป้องกันขนอาวุธป่วนใต้

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 14 สิงหาคม 2008 22:22น.
ธวัช หลำเบ็ญสะ
อะหมัด รามันห์สิริวงศ์
โต๊ะข่าวภาคใต้ สถาบันอิศรา
    ผู้บัญชาการกองเรือภาคที่ 2 สั่งเรือรบที่ปฏิบัติการลาดตระเวนอ่าวไทยตอนล่าง คุมเข้มเรือประมงต้องสงสัยป้องกันการลักลอบขนอาวุธสงครามและวัตถุระเบิดเข้ามาทางทะเล พร้อมประสานศุลกากรภาค 4 และตำรวจน้ำบูรณาการตรวจค้นจับกุม เน้นเฝ้าระวังเรือประมงดัดแปลงกับเรือสองสัญชาติ ด้านสถานการณ์ไฟใต้ยังระอุ คนร้ายลอบวางระเบิดร้านขายมอเตอร์ไซค์ที่ยะหา คาดตอบโต้เจ้าหน้าที่บุกรวบผู้ต้องสงสัยบึ้มสงขลาที่ยะลา    

    พล.ร.ท.กัมปนาท ภู่เจริญยศ ผู้บัญชาการกองเรือภาคที่ 2 กองเรือยุทธการ ในฐานะผู้อำนวยการศูนย์ประสานการรักษาผลประโยชน์ของชาติทางทะเล เขต 2 เปิดเผยเมื่อวันที่ 14 ส.ค.2551 ว่า กองเรือภาคที่ 2 ซึ่งรับผิดชอบทะเลอ่าวไทยจาก จ.สุราษฎร์ธานี ถึง อ.ตากใบ จ.นราธิวาส และมีหน่วยปฏิบัติการหลักคือกองเรือภาคที่ 2, สำนักงานศุลกากรภาคที่ 4 และกองกำกับการ 7 กองบังคับการตำรวจน้ำ ได้ประสานการปฏิบัติงานร่วมกันในการป้องกันและปราบปรามการลักลอบขนอาวุธสงครามและวัตถุระเบิดเข้ามาทางทะเล
    ทั้งนี้ ได้สั่งการให้เรือรบที่ปฏิบัติการลาดตระเวนในพื้นที่รับผิดชอบให้คุมเข้มเรือประมงต้องสงสัยที่อาจลักลอบขนอาวุธสงครามและวัตถุระเบิดเข้ามาทางทะเลเขตรอยต่อน่านน้ำระหว่างประเทศเพิ่มขึ้นเป็นพิเศษ เพื่อป้องกันและสกัดกั้นไม่ให้มีการลักลอบขนอาวุธสงครามและวัตถุระเบิดเข้ามาในราชอาณาจักรทางทะเลโดยเด็ดขาด
    “ที่ผมสั่งเน้นมากคือให้ตรวจเข้มเรือประมงดัดแปลงและเรือสองสัญชาติต้องสงสัยที่เข้าไปทำประมงร่วมในน่านน้ำมาเลเซีย และเดินทางกลับเข้ามาในน่านน้ำไทย เพื่อรักษาผลประโยชน์ของชาติทางทะเล” ผู้บัญชาการกองเรือภาคที่ 2 ระบุ

Filed under: non proliferation, Political Sciences, Security, , , , , ,

Civilian-Ambiguity-New Civilian-militia training in the South

Another civilain force has been formed in the Southern-most provinces, reported by Isara News (http://www.tjanews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3380&Itemid=58)

The “Peun Rachakarn Raksa Moo Baan” (friend of official to protect the village) corps were being trained in the South to patrol their respective village along with military and police staff. Accoring to the report, 340 villagers from 17 strong communities (among 21 strong communities) in Pattaini voluteered to be trained. They were 70% Muslims and 30% Buddhists. They would earn 4,500 Baht monthly.

Volunteers were trained on hand to hand combat, patroling and check point skills, weapon handling and ideological training, etc. The training took 3-4 days and volunteers would be assessed for their performance based on situation in their villages. Any volunteerssubsequently “fail” to performed would be dismissed from the payroll.

In the meantime, Humanitarian Dialogue is offering an interesting e booklet on “Interpreting Violence: Anti-Civilain Thinking and Practice” that would be valuable to re-visit the above content. Please do not hessitate to check it out.

New wars and armed conflicts also create new civilians, who are civilians but engaged in self defence beefed up by state or non state actors.

Filed under: non proliferation, Political Sciences, Security

Just a Bout

During the last few days Thai newspapers published an arrest of Victor Bout who have recently been captured in Bangkok. Internationally, readers can find them on AP, AFP and NYT. The arrest was the result of US DEA ‘s inside jobs and a lot of investment to track Mr. Bout down when he was claimed to visit Bangkok for a business trip.

A gunrunning business trip.

Later in January I was presenting my paper on “”, had I know I would find solid evidence that hint transactions in Thailand, I would have put more finger pointing tone in my paper.

Yet, as the movie Lord of War portrayed in the end, he is a link in a long chain of arms trade. He could be a chunky link, but not chunky enough to run his own manufacturing companies and large deposit of weapons. The amount of weapon he shipped is a small share of what the world and big manufactures produces. Most of producers are G8 and permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Plus who want to make a big wave of states as embargo breaker?

I may sound as if I sympathize him. Well I want to smack his wrist for making it easier to illegally supply weapons to arm groups. Yet I realized it is legal and easier for a state to acquire arms to do whatever they deem fit. And some states really take this right seriously beyond their borders.

So congratulation Mr. Bout for a free stay in Bangkok Prison. I hope you will get tanned while the other dealers are working on, the producers get shit load of money. Sorry. You should have been the producer. It is legal.

Filed under: non proliferation

What do other think about the Banjong Proposal?

At gunsandgames (position well taken, dudes)
http://www.gunsandgames.com/smf/index.php?topic=52314.msg%25msg_id%25

Filed under: non proliferation

Army Reaction to Selective Disarmament

Also From Bangkok Post
Army pans disarmament plan

By Post Reporters
Army chief Anupong Paojinda has made it clear he has strong reservations against disarming civilians and, eventually, members of the security forces in the deep South, saying it is the insurgents who should hand over their guns.

He was responding to a proposal by the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, which was backed by Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who is also defence minister.

The idea was floated by Banjong Somanee, the committee’s vice chairman, during a meeting with Mr Samak on Tuesday.

Gen Anupong said the army would inform Mr Samak of its feelings on the proposal so he could make an informed decision.

The ultimate goal should be to disarm all sides, the general said.

The proposal calls for the selective disarming of civilians, including members of the volunteer defence forces, while at the same time persuading militants to lay down their weapons in return for money.

Once all civilians and insurgents were disarmed, junior soldiers would no longer need to carry weapons.

The idea has run into opposition from the military, with senior officers saying it is impractical.

Gen Anupong said if the proposal was to be acted upon, he was certain Mr Samak would summon him for a discussion about it first.

Mr Samak said earlier he would consult Gen Anupong about the proposal and promised to listen to what the army chief had to say.

Gen Anupong declined to say whether the proposal had any chance of being implemented.

But he did insist that disarming the wrong people would not help the situation in the far South.

Disarming village defence volunteers, for example, might not be a sound idea. They carried guns only to protect themselves and their communities, not to commit aggression.

It is the insurgents who must be made to hand over their weapons, Gen Anupong said.

Democrat deputy secretary-general Nipon Boonyamanee warned Mr Samak to be more careful in making comments about southern unrest.

The wrong words uttered by the prime minister could send the wrong signals about state policy, he said.

“He must think carefully before speaking and be accountable for what he says,” Mr Nipon said. Mr Samak was vague at best, and he fell short of spelling out how he would protect those civilians and members of the security forces after they were disarmed.

The proposal would only dampen the spirits and the confidence of the police and soldiers on duty in the area.

A bomb blast killed a naval officer and injured six people in tambon Taluban in Pattani’s Sai Buri district yesterday morning, police said. Chief Warrant Officer Wirot Tansuwan died in hospital. Four of the wounded were marines and two were villagers.

The attack occurred near a Chinese shrine being guarded by troops. Villagers had gathered there to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

In Narathiwat, 200 troops raided Ban Taseh Nuea in Sungai Padi district where members of the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) insurgent group were reportedly hiding.

The group, reported to be led by Muhamadrosali Awaebuesa, managed to escape arrest by fleeing to a nearby peat swamp forest.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/topstories/topstories.php?id=125781

Filed under: non proliferation

The Banjong Proposal

Critics rap arms-freeSouth plan

Samak, under fire, says army chief will decide

SURASAK GLAHAN & WASSANA NANUAM (Bangkok Post)

Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej yesterday backed a call for the selective disarming of civilians and progressive disarming of junior military officers and policemen in the far South, a proposal which has drawn heavy flak from experts and security officials.

Mr Samak voiced his support for the proposal at a meeting with representatives of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand yesterday.

The prime minister conceded he was not an expert on the insurgency issue but would act in his concurrent role as defence minister in assigning the authorities, including the army, to implement the idea.

Central to the proposal, initiated by committee vice chairman Banjong Somanee, is the disarming of all civilians in the strife-torn border provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and parts of Songkhla, and telling rebels to lay down their weapons. They would be given money for the weapons they hand in.

Community leaders would play a role in keeping civilians disarmed.

Once all civilians and militants are disarmed, it would be illegal for junior security personnel to carry weapons, Mr Samak said.

Military and police offficers ranking lower than lieutenant would be all disarmed, a process which would take about three months.

The Banjong proposal also recommends that those who defy the order to disarm be executed. Mr Samak, however, found the proposed punishment too extreme. The maximum punishment should be life imprisonment, he said.

”I agree with this idea. It’s easy enough to understand. I’ll inform the military of it. This shouldn’t be difficult,” Mr Samak told the committee at the People Power party (PPP) headquarters.

But Mr Samak insisted army chief Gen Anupong Paojinda would have the final say on the issue.

”I’ll talk to Gen Anupong, and whatever he considers to be appropriate I will agree to,” he said.

Mr Samak said the proposal would take effect soon, after it has been adjusted.

Southern violence escalated in early 2004 during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration. The situation has worsened with daily attacks against local residents, policemen, soldiers, teachers and monks. More than 2,000 people have been killed.

The Banjong proposal, however, was opposed by a fellow member of the Islamic committee Suriya Panjor.

Talking on the sidelines of the meeting with the Bangkok Post, Mr Suriya said the plan may be impractical.

”It would be very difficult to put this thought into practice. This is not the right time to be focusing on it,” said Mr Suriya, also a former member of the National Legislative Assembly’s panel studying and investigating southern violence.

The government should tackle injustices _ blamed for perpetuating the insurgency _ suffered by local people.

He put forth the idea of rooting out injustice at the meeting but it was ignored. However, Mr Samak said: ”Keeping accusing one another of injustice will never bring an end to the story. We have to say the [injustice] issue is over, period.”

Mr Samak also told the group he expected ”the wound to be healed in three or four years.”

But the military also disagreed with Mr Samak’s proposal.

”It’s impossible to disarm civilians, who include state officials. Southern insurgents will not lay down their weapons even if all civilians are disarmed,” said a commander of a military unit.

The officer said civilians who possess weapons include teachers, local leaders and village defence volunteers.

Army spokesman Col Acra Tiproch insisted local residents had the right to carry firearms in self-defence.

”If we can order the rain to stop, only then can we tell the people not to put out their umbrellas,” he said.

”My question in return is whether insurgents are willing to lay down their weapons if local residents are disarmed.

Local residents have the right to protect themselves,” said the spokesman.

In the far South, people are now required to open up motorcycle seat covers when they park them within the Yala municipal area following Monday’s blast in the municipality which wounded six people, three of them policemen.

People are also banned from placing crash helmets on the front basket of their motorcycles while they are parked.

The measures are to prevent rebel attacks using bombs tied to motorcycles, police said.

———————-

Buy-back must be more expensive than  black market price or in another meaningful contribution to the community.

Someone must address the state officer procurement program if the want to disarm junior officers.

Need to think more about it. Need to reduce demand not forcing people to simply “give up.” Engage people to design their weapon collection or weapons for … program.

It might not be that easy.

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, non proliferation

Finally

picture-1.png
identification is not the most wanted task. It is much more boring than browsing through customs databases. After the movie had been out for a year or so, I finally make it. *grin* 11 out of 14. It was a big development (from about 8 of 14, and I don’t play this game every month.

If you would like to test recognition skill, go to Lord of War/ Name that Weapon Game

Filed under: non proliferation

Blood Gem?

Bangkok Post reportedBurma to hold special gem auction

(Agencies) – Burma is to hold a special gem sale in Rangoon starting on July 4 to boost foreign exchange earnings, the Central Committee for Sponsoring the Special Sale of Gems, Jade and Pearls announced

Domestic gem traders are being urged to display their quality gems, jade and pearls at the special show scheduled for July 4. The foreign exchange proceeds from the sale will be designated as legal export earning, the sponsor said.

It will be held as a “competitive bidding system,” presumably meaning auction.

The country’s special gem sale for both foreign and local gem merchants is the third of its kind introduced four years ago in addition to the annual and mid-year ones.

During the last special gem sale held in June, 2006, nearly 1,500 foreign and local gem traders bid on the available jade, gemstones and pearls.

At the 13-day, 44th annual gems emporium held last March, 3,652 lots of jade, gems and pearl were sold out of nearly 6,000 such lots displayed. They gained a record high 148 million euros ($185 million).

That emporium was attended by 3,421 merchants, 2,000 of them foreign. The foreigners came mostly from China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Thailand.

Burma began its gem shows in 1964. The mid-year one was first held in 1992 and the special one was introduced three years ago.

Burma, a well-known world producer, is the source of nine gems – ruby, diamond, cat’s eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.

To develop the gem mining industry, Burma enacted the New Gemstone Law in 1995, allowing national entrepreneurs to mine, produce, transport and sell finished gemstone and manufactured jewellery at home and abroad.

Since 2000, the Burmese government has become involved in the mining of gems and jade in joint ventures with 10 private companies under a profit-sharing basis.

The military regime will grant 319 new more unexplored jade mining blocks in Kachin state’s Moenyin and Sagaing division’s Khamhti to local entrepreneurs to encourage jade production, according to reports earlier this year.

There are six mining areas in Burma under gem and jade exploration: Mogok, Mongshu, Lonkin/Phakant, Khamhti, Moenyin and Namyar.

Jade sales represent one of Burma’s major foreign exchange sources, the fourth largest export earning sector in the fiscal year 2005-06 with $205.47 million, according to state statistics.

Of the top 10 exporters for 2006-07, dominated by the state sector, the Myanmar Gems Enterprise was third with sales of $296.9 million. Only Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and the Myanmar Timber Enterprise sold more.

The government’s Central Statisitcal Organisation reported that in fiscal year 2005-06, Burma produced 20,390 tons of jade and 28.458 million carats of gems, including ruby, sapphire, spinel and peridot, as well as 177,692 mommis of pearl. The production in the first half of 2006-07 (April-March) went to 10,388 tons from jade, 10.042 million carats for various gems and 56,607 mommis for pearl.

Burma also is working to establish the first ever gem merchants’ association as part of its bid to enhance the development of the country’s gem mining industry.

The Burmese mining sector, which also includes other minerals such as gold and copper, contributes 0.4 per cent to the national economy.

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, INTERNATIONAL, non proliferation, Security

Transit State: State in Transit

Updated charge at the Nation

After General Vang Pao and Lao Hmong military weapon deal was terminated before the weapons are delivered, what could be a better example for my interest of Thailand as a transit state.

BBC reported:

The accused allegedly conspired to buy hundreds of machine-guns, rockets and explosives from US federal agents who were working undercover as arms dealers.

They are said to have sought to spend millions of dollars on weapons to carry out attacks.

Prosecutors said the coup leaders planned to blow up government buildings and kill “thousands of people”.

The “Hmong insurgency planned to use AK-47 automatic rifles, Stinger missiles, LAW rockets, anti-tank rockets and other arms and munitions to topple [the] Lao government and reduce government buildings in Vientiane to rubble,” a public prosecutor in California said in a statement.

Being a non-major producer, rather top importer and having no internationally highlighted conflicts of our own, Thailand boast a peaceful tourism destination. If we have a conflict, we will smile and said it is a minor problem that can be solved by understanding and reconciliation. Note that the “Truth” as in “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” tradition is missing, which I will elaborate in my thesis (that must be in chapter 5.2)

Readers should send more “Ceylon” tea for refreshing my poor brain).Back to the point.

Why Thailand is involved in the deal to overthrown the “official” Laos PRD government. Ain’t it a friendly relationship as elaborated by Ai Pin and Nong Champa?

The official partnership is rather steady as Nam Thuen-Hin Bun dam, I guess, but Thailand’s lousy reputation in arm transit, particularly the “black” trade make me want to cover my head with a bag, though as the country we escape the accusation because of, ahem, African nations and non-state actors.

The place to drop the $ 9.8 mil. weapons secured through Arizona connection is Thailand. Geographically perfect, logistically viable and technically will not know anything about this until ATF sniffed it, according to Thairath.

Oh, thank you, ATF. (Bag to the Thai government and intelligence, please)

The abuse of Thailand as a transit point in this case were made after weapons will be shipped to the country according to Thailand on 10-12 June 2007. Will it go through the Customs or not I could not guess because the weapons might not be shipped now.

9.8 million USD to topple a government. . . that is a good price. I hope the underwater current will not copy this and start to make MANPADS instead of Manchester City deal.

But tanks work the best I guess. it’s umm, almost free.

The Thai government commented, as reported by Bangkok Post

The Thai government declined to comment before a verdict was reached.

“Thailand will not tolerate the use of its territory for any movement that undermines the stability of its neighboring countries,” said Tharit Charungvat, a spokesman for Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

A regular routine comment indeed, but as before, when the Sri Lankan and Burmese Government used to comment about lousy control, the Thai government just issued blanket denial that the state will not tolerate. Obviously, they can tolerate illegal arms transfer anddeal using the state as transit point.

Filed under: INTERNATIONAL, non proliferation, Security

Too many already.

 Import Statistic (Data: the Customs Department)  

Chart overall

If arming civilians and paramilitary at the present is not considered sufficience, buy more. They will still die more.

I have an excel file waiting to be verified by experts about calculation methodology. However, an article in Deep South Watch asked many critical questions.

Filed under: non proliferation