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.


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


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.

Read it online now in full colour PDF e-Book format

Price: USD 34.95

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


RM 189.00 Malaysia

THB 1,900 Thailand

SGD 89.00 Singapore

USD 69.00 Worldwide

To pre-order and/or discuss other payment options in your currency, send e-mail to patanibook@gmail.com

Date and Time in Patani Darussalam



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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 -- Partitioning of the Malay Heartland

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

Extract of Anglo-Siamese Treaty, 1909 (bold added):-

Delineation of Boundary

Commencing from the most seaward point of the northern bank of the estuary of the Perlis River and thence north to the range of hills which is the watershed between the Perlis River on one side and the Pujok River on the other; then following the watershed formed by the said range of hills until it reaches the main watershed or dividing line between those rivers which flow into the Gulf of Siam on the one side and into the Indian Ocean on the other; following this main watershed so as to pass the sources of the Sungei Patani, Sungei Telubin, and Sungei Perak, to the point which is the source of the Sungei Pergau; then leaving the main watershed and going along the watershed separating the waters of the Sungei Pergau from the Sungei Telubin, to the hill called Bukit Jeli or the source of the main stream of the Sungei Golok to the sea at a place called Kuala Tabar. This line will leave the valleys of the Sungei Patani, Sungei Telubin, and Sungei Tanjung Mas and the valley on the left or west bank of the Golok to Siam and the whole valley of the Perak River and the valley on the right or east bank of the Golok to Great Britain.

The island known as Pule Langkawi, together with all the islets south of the midchannel between Terutau and Langkawi, and all the islands south of Langkawi shall become British. Terutau and the islets to the north of mid-channel ... to Siam.

Source: Bangkok Treaty (“Anglo-Siamese Treaty”) signed on March 10, 1909, with ratifications exchanged in London on July 9, 1909. (Great Britain, Foreign Office, Treaty Series 1909, No. 19, Command 4703, London)

Malay lands affirmed as Siamese territory by Great Britain in the 1909 Anglo-Siamese Treaty:-

1) The four Monthon Pattani districts of Patani, Jala (Siamised as Yala), Teluban (Saiburi) and Menara (Narathiwat);

2) The old Patani districts of Tiba (Thepha) and Cenak (Chana) in Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat (old Ligor);

3) The Kelantan district of Tabal (Takbai) and slivers of Kelantan territory on the northwest and west banks of the Golok river;

4) The old Kedah principality of Setul (Satun), somehow detached from Kedah/Monthon Saiburi at the 11th hour of the Treaty reputedly in part-exchange for Kelantan’s Tumpat district;

5) The Terutau (Tarutao) and Butang island groups, including Pulau Terutau, Pulau Butang, Pulau Udang, Pulau Singa, Pulau Belitong, Pulau Besi, Pulau Tengah, Pulau Cabang, Pulau Nipis, Pulau Rawi, Pulau Petra and Pulau Bulan;

6) All historical Malay domains up to the 11th degree parallel.

Map: Partitioning of the Malay states per the 1909 Anglo-Siamese Treaty.
The Malay states were neither consulted nor participated and viewed the arbitrary division of their territories as a sharing of the loot by two foreign powers. Britain dropped extra-territorial rights on the Malay Peninsula up to the 11th Degree Parallel (Kra) per the old 1897 Anglo-Siamese Secret Convention. Historical Malay lands up to Kra thus recognised by Britain as Siamese territory.

(Click to Enlarge)

Copyright © 2007 Behind the Accidental Border. All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized reproductions of this map strictly prohibited and subject to legal proceedings.

A cursory reading of the Treaty would elucidate the inevitable conclusion that it was an incomplete project. The arbitrary nature of the demarcation gives the document a distinct work-in-process flavour, the interim stage of a bigger scheme. On both coasts, the international frontier cuts across the heart of Malay villages and communities, effectively dissecting families and kinfolk into two separate nationalities. In the east, the insignificant Golok River, more a glorified meandering stream, became the international frontier that, even today and for practical reasons, is not entirely accepted and viewed as an unnecessary irritant by the Kelantanese and their Patani kinfolk. The Treaty should, hence, be seen as a prelude to subsequent agreements to reflect further adjustments to the frontier per the blueprint of the 1897 Anglo-Siamese Secret Convention. Thus, Patani conspicuously was not mentioned by name in the Treaty; an unfinished matter to be fought on another day. But that day never arrived. The outbreak of the First World War and the tumultuous period leading to and during the Second World War preoccupied the Western World and effectively marked the end of their Southeast Asia land grab. Decolonisation in the decade following the end of the Second World War saw the withdrawal of European powers, with Southeast Asian states gaining independence within the borders carved by their old colonizers. Thailand, Siam’s new appellation, was consequently saddled with vast tracts of “alien” territories in its southern frontier, inhabited by a bitter, resentful and disenfranchised populace who could not comprehend nor accept the logic of their land being governed by an alien race with a distinctly divergent language, culture and religion. The old Patani Kingdom was stuck in Thailand; an unwitting pawn of an unfinished political chess game played by others, indeed, a cruel accident of history and a flailing socio-political appendage tethered painfully to the soft underbelly of the Thai nation to this day.

The 1909 Anglo-Siamese Treaty has been a catalyst for turmoil from the onset, and remains the worst travesty of justice in the history of the Malays of the peninsula. The Patani Malays, the very people affected by the terms of the treaty, were neither consulted nor participated in the negotiations. Likewise for their Malay brethrens under British rule. To expect the Malay race to simply accept this arbitrary partitioning of their World, without any political recourse, and indeed to compel the Patani people to languish in an undefined national existence devoid of their ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity, and to deny them the affirmation of their race and national heritage on their own soil, is to go against the most basic, the most primal of human instincts, and an insult to the Malay nation and the people of the Nusantara. The need of a human society to defend and perpetuate its heritage in its homeland is a force no empire in the history of mankind has been able to contain. Repressed societies are sustained and will eventually thrive from their inner strength, a need to survive, and will almost invariably exhaust and dissipate the fragile resolve of the colonising power.


Islam In Us said...

I currently live in KL. My parents are are in Sik, Kedah. Our ancestors from Jala. On hari rayas, relatives from Jala come to visit us sometimes. There's interesting book by Shahnon Ahmad about this guy running away from some bad people from Petani and finally settle in Sik.

What's been done is done. We ask Allah things become better. If situation becomes more peaceful, I'd like to go visit Petani some day.


KijangMas said...


Yes. We all pray for the day when the Patani people can live in peace, free from colonisation, and able to celebrate Hari Raya in dignity.

Your family is an example of the seamless nature of the man-made border between Malaysia and Thailand. Hundreds of thousands of other families in the five southern provinces governed by Thailand and the four northern Malaysian states across the "Accidental Border" are related and maintain strong contacts in spite of a century of foreign partitioning of their land.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Finished the e-Book overnight.


Patani sure has a case. Take it to the ICJ. Let the 16 judges decide.

Anonymous said...

This "border" has got to change!

Move it up 300km and you'll get peace down there.

KrungThep Mahanakhon

Anonymous said...

Very interesting info. I was searching the web and finally I found Your blog. Regards.

Anonymous said...

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- David

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