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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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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Patani and Thailand ...... How and When It All Began

Patani: Behind The Accidental Border
- Dynamics of the Patani Conflict and prescriptions for a sustainable peace

Book Excerpt
(Protected by Copyright. Quotations and reproductions subject to approval and written permission of the Author) :-
Patani's ancestral state of Langkasuka was already a growing regional power a thousand years before the progenitor T’ai state of Sukhothai emerged in the central Chao Phraya basin from the shadows of the Khmer Empire. Indeed, during the early Langkasukan period, the T’ais were still languishing in their southern China homeland on the verge of being displaced to Indochina (and incrementally to present-day Thailand by the 10th century) by the southward expanding Han Chinese. A millennium ago, present day Thailand north of the Kra Isthmus was dominated by the Hinduised Mon-speaking Dvaravati Kingdom and later the Khmer Empire while the Malay Peninsula from Kra southwards was under the suzerainty of Srivijaya.

Centred near today’s Yarang (Jerang or Binjai Lima in the original Malay) district 15km inland from Patani town, Langkasuka dates back to at least 200AD based on historical records and archaeological evidence. This state prevailed through recorded history for 1,200 years until the 1400s. At its zenith, Langkasuka stretched coast-to-coast from the Kra Isthmus in the north to present-day Kedah and Kelantan in the south. Contemporary Chinese accounts defined an empire 30 days march east to west and 20 days march north to south. The annals of China’s Liang Dynasty, the 7th century Liang-shu, recorded the establishment of relations when Langkasuka’s King P’o-ch’-ieh-ta-to (transliterated generally as Bhagadatta) sent an envoy, A-ch’e-to, to present a memorial to the Emperor in 515 AD. Langkasuka sent further diplomatic missions in the years 523, 531 and 568 and Langkasuka-China relations flourished during the tenure of Liang Dynasty Emperor Wu (Liang Wu Ti, 502-549AD).

Patani’s Langkasuka legacy is well-documented, with multiple references to the Langkasuka toponym and geographic inference to today’s Patani Region in contemporary Chinese, Indian, Javanese and Arab historiographies. Chinese archival records and ancient coastline navigation maps placed Langkasuka on the coast stretching from present-day Phatthalung to Kelantan (and centred near the estuary of the Patani river). The Chinese transliterations for Langkasuka in various dialectical spelling variants from the 7th to 14th centuries include Lang-ya-hsiu, Ling-ya-ssu-chia, Lang-hsi-chia and Long-sai-ka. The Rajarajesvara temple inscriptions of Tanjore, India memorialized an attack by the Chola King, Rajendra I in the year 1030 on key states of the Sri Vijayan empire, including Ilangasoka, extolled as “undaunted in fierce battles.” The Nagarakertagama, an epic poem composed in 1365 by Mpu Rakawi PrapaƱca mentioned Langkasuka (in a list of Malay Peninsula entities) as a tributary of the Javanese Majapahit empire, although this was more reflective of a poet obliged to eulogise his benefactor, the Majapahit King, Hayam Wuruk (Prabu Sri Rajasanagara), than political realities of that era.

Langkasuka was a member of the Sri Vijayan Thalassocracy from c.800-1300AD. During this period, the Kingdom was prominent in Chinese, Indian, Arab and Javanese historiographies, with territory extending from the frontier of Nagara Sri Dharmaraja (Ligor) in the north to incorporate present-day Kelantan in the southeast and Kedah in the southwest. The T’ais reached the central Chao Phraya basin by 1000 AD, having displaced the Mons and subsequently fought the domination of the Khmer Kambujadesa Empire. Sukhothai emerged from the last vestiges of Khmer rule and became the first T’ai kingdom in the late 13th century, adopting the finer elements of Khmer court culture and traditions. Patani-Thai relations, in their various incarnations, date back at least 800 years when Patani’s ancestral Langkasuka Empire and subsequent Sri Vijayan overlords took note of the fledgling T’ai polities in the Chao Phraya basin emerging from the last vestiges of Khmer rule. The collapse of Sri Vijaya saw Langkasuka’s fragmentation into several northern Malay kingdoms, of which Patani rose to prominence by the late 14th century. Sukhothai itself was overshadowed and finally absorbed by the Ayutthayan kingdom downriver also by the late 14th century.The two nascent kingdoms of Patani and Ayutthaya began to expand their spheres of influence and conflict was inevitable.
Hence began 600 years of conflict between the peoples of these two great civilizations -- the Malays of Patani and the T'ais of Ayutthaya/Thonburi/Krung Thep/Siam/Thailand. Indeed, conflict is not a new phenomenon in Patani. The current insurrection represents the latest manifestation of a long series of warfare and revolts over six centuries by the ethnic-Malay populace against Siamese/Thai political machinations that led to the incremental subjugation of the Patani Kingdom, culminating in final annexation in 1906.


Anonymous said...

Interesting excerpt.

Look forward to the book. I want to be first in line.

KijangMas said...

Chaiwat, thanks.

BTW, you're number 54.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic read !

Is there a sequel??

Anonymous said...


I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at patanibook.blogspot.com.

May I use some of the information from this blog post right above if I give a link back to your site?


KijangMas said...

Oliver, sure you can.

Just ensure the customary credits and quotations.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing this link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at patanibook.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


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