Special Branch police sources however insisted that despite the spate of violent incidents on December 8-9, the general situation in the strife-torn region has improved considerably with monks now are able to get out of the temples to receive alms while more Buddhists go out to provide alms.
/>The military, meanwhile, said its men had more access to the local people and were increasingly welcomed by the locals. The sufficiency economy, in particular, was warmly received by the people.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in an interview with Bernama:
In fact, he said, violence had been contained, with the level and frequency of violent incidents reduced substantially in recent months.
/>”It increased dramatically back in 2005 up to 2007, and there has been quite a substantial reduction last year, the number is reduced slightly this year. So I think we have made progress, we need to do much more.”
The below figures are from Isra News which are based on police figures. In case you think the police are cooking the books, academic Dr. Srisompob who also collects his own data with the academic group he works with said there were 867 deaths in 2007 whereas the police/Isra News had it at 866.
For 2007, there were on average 72 deaths and 166 incidents a month whereas for 2008 there 46 deaths a month (46.99% drop) and 88 incidents a month (36.95% drop). There were also 90 injuries per month.
For Jan-Nov 2009, there were 42 deaths per month (8.8% drop compared with 2008), 77 incidents per month (14.42% drop), and 80 injuries a month (12.75% drop).
BP: From the above it is clear the violence in 2009 has reduced compared with 2008, but this is mainly because the violence in the first 5 months of 2009 was very low. Between Jan-May 2009, there were on average74 incidents per month, 34 deaths per month, and 58 injuries, but in the last 6 months (Jun-Nov 2009), there were 79 incidents a month, 48 deaths per month, and 97 injuries per month. In case you were thinking that Jun-Nov are particularly high months of violence, for Jun-Nov 2008, there were 82 incidents a month, 43.5 deaths a month, and 89 injuries per month.Therefore, you can see there were more deaths and injuries in Jun-Nov 2009 than Jun-Nov 2008 although a reduced number of incidents.
In essence, this is why BP thinks we need to move to a political solution because military/security solutions have run their course in reducing violence and it seems it will be difficult to reduce it beyond the current level.
All the figures can be seen in this google spreadsheet which can be downloaded from here. Sources for the 2009 figures are in the spreadsheet. Sources for the 2007 and 2008 figures were provided in links with the 2007 and 2008 posts. Unfortunately, Isra News has just had a website revamp so some of the older links no longer work.