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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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Hardcover coffee table edition (250 pages, with 100 full colour maps and pictures) available by special request.

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Date and Time in Patani Darussalam

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Patani-Siam Struggle ..... 16-19th Centuries

Book Excerpt

(Protected by Copyright. Quotations and reproductions subject to approval and written permission of the Author) :-

Patani reacted to Ayuthaya’s initial belligerence by launching a sea-borne attack on a Burmese-ravaged Ayutthaya in 1563-4. Patani’s Sultan Mudaffar Shah’s forces overran Ayutthayan defenses and sacked the palace, with King Maha Chakkraphat fleeing to safety. The Patani army withdrew when Sultan Mudaffar was mortally wounded in battle. Patani established trade and military ties with Portugal in 1516 and became the first Malay Kingdom to establish diplomatic/trade relations with the Japanese Ryukyu Kingdom (1515), the Japanese Tokugawa Shogunate (1592), the Dutch (1601), England (1612) and various kingdoms of Indochina and the Malay Archipelago. Ayutthaya followed suit and formed a military-commercial alliance with the Dutch in the 1620s to counter Patani's defense pact with Portugal. Supported by their European allies, Patani and the successive Siamese kingdoms of Ayutthaya, Thonburi and Krung Thep fought at least a dozen wars from 1603 to 1839. A huge Ayutthayan attack was famously repulsed in 1634 by a strong Patani army led by Raja Ungu, Paduka Sri Shah Alam, the greatest Queen in the history of the Malay World. The two adversaries ceased hostilities after the formalisation of a peace treaty between Ayutthaya’s King Prasat Thong (Sanpet V) and Patani’s Raja Kuning, Phraya Nang Chao Yang, in 1635.

(Click to Enlarge)

A 1602 Dutch engraving (entitled “Triumphal procession near the city of Patani”) of the entourage of Patani’s famed Raja Hijau (1584-1616). The Queen rides a decoratively harnessed elephant, accompanied by her maids-in-waiting (and plausibly her sisters, the future Rajas Biru and Ungu) on other elephants. Noblemen accompany the entourage, which has its full complement of Malay palace guards and soldiers in Portuguese-supplied helmets and battle gear. According to the original German and Latin text, two elephants in the vanguard carry armaments in honour of the late King and Raja Hijau’s father, Sultan Manzur Shah.
Image: Isaac Commelin, “Hoe de Koninginne van Patana haer gaet vermaecken” in Begin ende Voortgangh van de Vereenighde Nederlandsche Geoctroyeerde Oost-Indische Compagnie (Beginning and Ending of the Dutch East India Company), 1646, extracted from the Atlas of Mutual Heritage, Nationaal Archief, Nederland (National Archive of the Netherlands).


Ayutthaya was then immersed in bloody warfare with the Burmese until its fall to Burma’s King Hsinbyushin in 1767. Patani and other Malay kingdoms of the Kra Isthmus enjoyed a fleeting window of tranquility in the aftermath of the Ayutthayan collapse but the new Thonburi Kingdom of King Taksin succeeded in subjugating the old Malay Kingdoms of Ligor, Cahaya, Rundung, Terang, Ghraibi, Bukit/Ujung Salang, Bedalung and Singgora (later transliterated in Thai as Nakorn Si Thammarat, Chai'ya, Ranong, Trang, Krabi, Phuket, Phatthalung and Songkhla). Patani resisted these onslaughts but suffered a grave setback when the new Krung Thep Kingdom of King Rama I overran the kingdom in an epic war in 1786, which saw the death of Sultan Muhammad on the battlefield and the partitioning of a quarter of Patani’s territory (Tiba and Cenak) to Siam-held Singgora. Patani finally joined other isthmian Malay states as a Siamese vassal, although Siam’s actual control oscillated with the relative strengths of both kingdoms. Major wars were fought between Siam and a resistant Patani in 1789-91, 1808-10, 1831-32 and 1838-39. Siam engineered a further break-up of Patani into seven principalities after the particularly bloody war of 1810. The war of 1831-32, the mother of all the Siamese-Patani wars, required a Siamese force of 300,000 men and British military assistance (naval blockade off the Kedah-Trang coast) to contain a Patani-Kedah force bolstered by troops from Kelantan and Trengganu. An exhausted Siam co-opted a still-simmering Patani and a strengthening Kelantan in the 1840s and avoided the prospect of a formidable Patani-Kelantan alliance against Siamese hegemony by negotiating the ceding of the Patani throne to Tuan Besar, cousin and main political adversary of Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad II. The Tuan Besar dynasty regained the luster of the Patani Kingdom as Siamese Kings, Rama III (Nang Klao) and Rama IV (Mongkut) gradually eased Siamese involvement in the contentious Malay region. The Patani throne regained its prestige and via intermarriage and astute diplomacy began to play a prominent role among the Malay states of the peninsula. Bedecked in the finest regalia of contemporary Malay sovereigns, subsequent Patani Sultans regard the Siamese Monarch as equals – a brother ruler – and the relevance of the Siamese state to the affairs of Patani was only historical, mostly symbolic. The reigns of Tengku Puteh (1856-81), Tengku Besar (1881-90) and Tengku Bongsu (Sultan Sulaiman Sharifuddin, 1890-98) were marked with relative peace in an era of political d├ętente between Siam and the seven principalities of the Patani Region -- namely Patani, Nong Chik, Jering, Teluban, Jala, Reman and Legeh.

This state of relative regional stability would be shattered during the reign of Siam's Rama V, King Chulalongkorn .......

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

A'slmkm sir,
Is the website 'Empayar Benua Siam Islam Nagara Kedah''s historical assumptions authentic facts or fallacies? It seemed to me that your version showed a clash of interest within the Malay kingdoms whilst his version showed the Malay empire's gradual demise from the great civilisation of Ayyuthia to the horrific end of Long Jaafar, the last of the 33 emperors, at the hands of the Sukothai and the British. Pray tell which is which...

KijangMas said...

I’ve browsed the “Nagara Kedah Pasai Ma” site extensively and I can categorically state that it is based entirely on falsehood brought about by the troubling delusions of its owner, an En. Mazlan of Kedah or Perlis.

His “stories” are all jumbled fairytales of countries and kings of different eras. The T’ai kingdom of Sukhothai flourished only briefly – from 1238 to about the mid-late 1300s. Sukhothai was in no position to collaborate with any British force against any Malay “emperor” in the early 19th century as alleged by that site as this kingdom vanished over seven centuries earlier.

The successor T’ai kingdom of Ayutthaya existed from the mid-late 1300s to 1767 when it was destroyed by the Burmese led by King Hsinbyushin. The last Ayutthayan king, Boromaracha V (Suriyat Amarin or Ekhataat) perished in the invasion. The successor T’ai state to Ayutthaya was Thonburi, founded by the ethnic-Chinese General Cheng Chao Sin, better known as Phya Taksin. Taksin himself was toppled and executed by another Chinese General, Cheng Tong Duan – known today as Chao Phraya Chakri or Rama I – in a palace coup in 1782. General Tong Duan then founded the Chakri Dynasty based at Krung Thep (today’s Bangkok) and this family has ruled Thailand ever since.

Ayutthaya was never a Malay empire. It was a T’ai Buddhist kingdom, although it had many Muslims in senior positions. The owner of that website is delusional and has done great damage to Malay perception of their history. I would like to think that I’m an authority on Southeast Asian history (esp. ancient Siam, Cambodia, Champa, Patani, Srivijaya and Langkasuka) and I’m sorry to say that 100% of that site’s claims are fallacies and malicious fabrications. History is based on corroborating historical evidence by adjacent kingdoms. None of his claims could even be remotely corroborated by any historical document anywhere, except via his own twisted rationalization of place names and word associations and jumbled eras. The Dutch, French, English, Persians and Portuguese kept meticulous records of their dealings with Ayutthaya. From my extensive research across the world’s greatest archives and libraries, I’ve never come across any document testifying to a Malay emperor of Ayutthaya, or that Ayutthaya was a Malay empire.

That site also claimed that the “Siam” and the “Thai” are different peoples, with the “Siam” synonymous with the “Melayu” and the “Thai” being descendants of the “Suku Thai” from up north. Again, this is an absurd misrepresentation. The Siamese are members of the T’ai-Kadai racial group. “Thai” is just a recent concoction by Field Marshall Phibun Songkhram in 1938 to incorporate ALL ethnic groups in Siam, which he renamed Thailand. “Thai” means “free” in Siamese. “Sukhothai” has nothing to do with the phrase “Suku Thai.” Sukhothai is actually the Siamese corruption of the Sanskrit name “Sukhodaya’ for that old kingdom.

I believe this Mazlan is a UITM staffer. Something must be done before his one-man delusional quest to twist history affects the unfortunate Malay students at that institution. I advise you don’t waste time reading his delusions.

Anyway, my Patani book gives a detailed account of Ayutthaya and its relationship with the Patani Malay kingdom.

kempasman said...

Biar betul si mamat Mazlan nie??? Kalau dia sekarang nie jadik tenaga pengajar, tak ke hari biru dibuatnya. Mujor ada orang buat cross reference ngan kijangmas. Kes Naya nie, big time!!

Anonymous said...

kempasman,

macam tu lah intelektual malaysia kalau nak tau. "intelektual kangkung" je! perangai menipu mazlan blogger tu sama je macam chakri haha

Anak Alang said...

What do you mean "Chinese General"? You mean the Chakris are not pure T'ai? ...and later the kings become more "T'ai" than the T'ais? Oh my god! No wonder Chakri dynasty only 200+ years of throne.

...and later Obama will become more "white" than the whites...

Anonymous said...

Danke!

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