The southern Thai provinces of Patani, Yala and Narathiwat have become hot-spot for insurgency against the Thai security forces. This has become very obvious since January 2004 when killings against security personnel and civilians have become a daily affair. To date more than 3,500 people has become victim of the insurgency. This includes both Thai Buddhist and some Thai Muslims has become victim of the insurgency. This includes school teachers, government servants, farmers, and Buddhist monks. Despite various attempts by various people to bring about a peaceful solution to the problem, there has been no sign to a stop to the killings.
The southern Thai provinces of Patani, Yala and Narathiwat borders
The central government in
In the late nineteenth century, the government institutionalized, patronized and developed a top-down policy of nation-building, which emphasized the importance of Khwamphenthai or “Thainess”, thereby compelling the transformation of the multiethnic society of
Thai nationalism was to some extent a replication of the concept of French nationalism, with the conscious attempt to transform all ethnic peoples within its geographically defined borders into Thais. It was a political decision that the state managed political, cultural and social system that made it compulsory for those who sought to be in the Ekkalat Thai or the mainstream of Thai society to conform to the Central Thai culture and custom. Central Thai language was to be spoken and a Central Thai view of history was to be taught in all schools. By assimilation, anyone could become Thai if they learn to speak and act as a central
The disenchantment of the Muslim Malays in the South towards the Thais led to the emergence of many separatist movements in the 1940’s fighting for the independent of Patani. 1940s. Among them, was Gabungan Melayu Patani Raya (Union of Malay for a Great Patani) or GAMPAR founded in 1948 (Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud: 1999). Following the establishment of the Barisan Nasional Pembebasan Patani (BNPP) in 1963. (Rahimmula: 2003 :), violent clashes between guerrilla and Thai security forces were common in the southernmost provinces. In the mid-1970s, there existed more than 20 separatist organizations operating on both sides of the Thai-Malaysian border.
However, the situation improved in the 1980s and 1990s under the new government of General Prem Tinsulanond (1980-88) that saw some changes in the government policies known as Thai Rom Yen or the Pacified South. Muslim cultural rights and religious freedoms were assured and the rebels were given a general amnesty. An economic development for the South was implemented and through this way the situation in the South was mitigated (Tan: 2003, Jones and Smith: 2003). A National Security Policy for the Southern Border Provinces (Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) was also formulated based upon the concept of "development as security" approach (Rahimmula: 2003). This development was also greatly attributed by the deepening cooperation between the Thai and Malaysian Government.
Security along the border remarkably improved and this led to the decline of the insurgency as well (Abuza: 2003). In the late 1990s most observers described the insurgency as fading and fairly calm while peace was seen to have been restored (Rabasa: 2003, Tan: 2003).
[i] The sole purpose of dividing the province of Patani was to weaken the Sultan’s power and to administer the provinces centrally from Bangkok, where local administrator was replaced with official from other part of Siam. This was also in view of King Chulalongkorn policy of Thesaphiban.
[ii] The Burney Treaty was signed between
[iii] For a detailed insight on how the Thai society was organized, see Akin Rabibhadana, The Organization of Thai Society in the Early Bangkok Period, 1782-1873,
[iv] W K