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On-line bestseller. Now in its 2nd Edition.

Latest facts, new images, maps and analysis.



Peace talks between the Thai government and Patani nationalists led by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN) drags on with no breakthrough in sight. The fundamental disconnect impacting the peace process is the Dichotomy of Context between the two sides. The Thai government views the dialogue process as a way to rein in and disarm wayward “Thai Muslim Separatists” and to persuade the Patani Malay populace to accept Thai rule albeit with some administrative and cultural concessions. On the other hand, Patani nationalists regard the process as a step towards self-determination in their own land with the ultimate objective of regaining independence and the re-establishment of a Malay Muslim nation state.

After the initial rounds of dialogue coordinated and hosted by Malaysia, the Patani nationalists have hardened their stance, with a series of demands set as preconditions for further talks. These include Thailand’s recognition of the distinct identity, race and language of the Patani Malays; withdrawal of Thai troops from the restive region; peacekeeping duties to be conducted by local security forces; and amnesty for insurgents.


Additional conditions announced in early September 2013 include explicit Thai recognition of the BRN as liberators and not separatists; Malaysia's role to be upgraded from facilitator to mediator; presence of observers from ASEAN, the OIC and relevant NGOs during the dialogue process; a special administrative platform be set up under the Thai constitution; and the unconditional release of all detained suspects or imprisoned insurgents. BRN also sought guarantees for the Patani Malays’ freedom to practice Islam, seek education, conduct business, as well as to remain free from harassment.


Would the Thai state accede to these demands? Would even a partial concession be possible? Is there sufficient political will in Bangkok? What about the influential Thai military? Would Thailand gain from a softer negotiating posture? Could it afford further violence and bloodshed in its soft underbelly? Would these concessions bring peace and a semblance of normalcy to the Patani Region? Could the civilian government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra push the dialogue process to the next level? Who actually decides for Thailand? What more must be done? What is the end game?


Get the book to find out.




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Patani: Behind The Accidental Border
2nd Edition. The Search for Elusive Peace



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The insurgency in Thailand’s southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla, collectively defined as the Patani Region, is the most misunderstood conflict in the world today. In relative terms, the toll on human lives over the past half decade is surpassed only by the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts. But unlike those well-reported hotspots, very little is known about the Patani insurgency – its root causes; the identity and objectives of the main players; the historical context; the role and legitimacy of the Thai state; the sentiment of the populace – and this multifaceted ignorance sustains the ongoing socio-political tragedy. The insurgency has been vividly painted by many as a religious conflict perpetrated by misguided “Thai Muslims,” effectively calibrating all discourses towards a Pan-Islamist terrorism agenda.


This is further embellished by tales of economic backwardness due to lack of educational and vocational opportunities. The combination of religious zealotry and abject poverty are supposed to be the main catalysts of the insurgency and this narrative has largely shaped world perception, with policy initiatives geared towards economic development, scholastic reforms and inculcation of “moderate” Islamic teachings among the Patani people. These programmes come and go but the insurgency rages on with heightened intensity and brutality in a region also known cryptically as the Thai Deep South. Why is this the case? Who are the real stakeholders? What would be the end game? And could we resolve this conflict without a firm understanding of its root causes?


Together we shall seek the answers. This book will provide a definitive analysis of the insurgency in a region that was a prominent Malay Sultanate for a half-millennium but now tethered precariously to the southern underbelly of the Thai nation. Necessary attention will be given to its historical dimension and current regional geopolitical context and realities. This may dilute the conventional narrative meticulously crafted by others, and the revelations may be unpalatable to some. But without the historical truth and a firm grasp of the real issues, a just, meaningful and permanent solution could never be conceived. The detailed processes and methodologies of the Pattani Peace Initiative presented in this book would hopefully form the building blocks for sustainable peace, justice and reconciliation for the Patani Region.




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Date and Time in Patani Darussalam

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Langkasukans ....... Patani's Ancestral Population

Book Excerpt
(Protected by Copyright. Quotations and reproductions subject to approval and written permission of the Author) :-
The early inhabitants of Langkasuka were probably an eclectic assemblage of early Malays, Mons and Khmers. The maritime nature of the polity alludes to Austronesian (the greater Malay group) dominance. Significant Sumatran Malay acculturation commenced with the Sri Vijayan conquest of the Kra Isthmus in the 8th century. The Langkasukans were certainly not T’ais. At that time, the ancestral T’ais were still in the hills and river valleys of Yunnan prior to being displaced to Indo-China by the Han Chinese. Linguistically, Sri Vijayan rule, which flourished in the 9th and 11-13th centuries, signified the gradual eradication of Austro Asiatic languages (including Mon-Khmer) and early Austronesian tongues by High Malay, Sri Vijaya’s language of administration. By the 13th century, Malay language, culture and identity had subsumed other populations of the peninsula’s northern half up to the Kra Isthmus. The last vestiges of the old Mon-Khmer language are today found in the native vernacular of the aborigines of Malaya and south Thailand, the so-called Aslian Group.

The coming of Islam further cemented the affiliation of the Isthmian Malays to the people of the Nusantara. However, the arts and culture of the Patani-Kelantan region (historically, extending northwards up to present-day Phatthalung) till this day carry a distinct flavour of Khmer courts of old, exemplified by Wayang Kulit (traditional shadow play depicting adapted Ramayana epics), Mak Yong (a royal court theatre combining dance, opera, drama and wry humour), Menora (a complex rhythmic dance drama depicting ancient pre-Islamic folklore) and Petri (a cryptic musical-dance spiritual cleansing ritual), all often inaccurately attributed to a “Thai” or “Siamese” origin. The T’ai (or Thai) themselves adopted and emulated these high culture from the courts of Cambodia when they rebelled against their Khmer rulers in the 13th century and formed their ancestral polities in the central Chao Phraya basin. See Geoffrey Benjamin’s “Ethnohistorical Perspectives on Kelantan’s Prehistory” in Kelantan Zaman Awal, 1987, pp.108-46, for a fascinating discourse on the linguistic-cultural evolution of the northern peninsula Malays, particularly the Patani-Kelantanese group. His hypothesis somewhat reaffirmed the socio-cultural specificities of the Patani-Kelantan Malays and their intrinsic distinction from other Malays of the peninsula.

2 comments:

Amnart said...

What about the movie "Langkasuka"?

Based on facts or fantasy?


Amnart
Krung Thep Mahanakhon

KijangMas said...

Fantasized facts.

 
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