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, November 10, 2012

What Malaysia's The Star Newspaper Won't Publish

Malaysia's The Star newspaper published a particularly fallacious view of Patani sent by a Jinmei Morinae on September 30, 2012.

A rebuttal was promptly e-mailed to the publication the next day, on October 1, 2012.

The rebuttal was never published and an e-mail inquiry did not receive a reply.

A subsequent tweet to the editor, Wong Chun Wai on November 2, 2012 did not generate a response as well.

So much for "freedom of thought" and the "right to rebut" in this partisan ethnic-Chinese controlled tabloid. 

Below is the rebuttal that was not published by The Star:- 

I don’t quite understand the issue raised by Jinmae Morinae (Patani not a ‘Malay’ state; Sept 30, 2012).

In her letter, she admitted that “[i]t is true that Patani was once a separate kingdom before being annexed by Thailand” and “[i]t is also true that the state’s population is primarily Malay-Muslim.” Yet, she deemed it improper for the Patani Region (modern-day Thai provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and four districts in Songkhla) to be referred as “a Malay part of southern Thailand.”

Why is this so?

The Malay race is not restricted to the borders of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei. Ethnic Malays make up 85% of the three million population of Thailand’s Patani Region plus the majority in neighbouring Setul (Satun) province bordering Kedah/Perlis on the west coast. The Patani Region traces its rich history to the ancient Malay kingdom of Langkasuka (2nd-14th century AD) centered near present-day Binjai Lima (Yarang) in Pattani province, Thailand.    

Worldwide, ethnic groups tend to overlap international boundaries. Of course, historically, national borders realign endlessly over time but socio-cultural groups remain in their respective geographies irrespective of ruling polity. Unless, of course, there happens to be ethnic-cleansing, in which case, a predominant population is crowded out by another group. Today, you will still find a large ethnic-Russian population in eastern Ukraine; an ethnic-German majority in Italy’s South Tyrol/Alto Adige; ethnic-Hungarians in north-central Romania; ethnic-Kurds dominate where Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran meet; and ethnic-Koreans are prominent in parts of northeastern China.

As for the Patani Region, yes it is politically within Thailand, but it is Malay in ethnicity, history, heritage, language and culture. You can still be a Malay in Thailand just as one can be a “Thai” of Isaan, Lanna, Khmer, Shan or Chinese extraction. Note that “Thai” in this context is more of a nationality than a distinct race or ethno-religious group. It is equivalent to the term “Malaysian” to denote Malaysia's citizens. The inhabitants of the Patani Region are hence ethnic-Malays holding Thai nationality. No contradiction there.

“Thai Muslim” is a misnomer since it encompasses all Muslim citizens of Thailand, from Chiengmai’s Haw minority to Bangkok’s Pathans to the Malays of the Deep South. These disparate groups have nothing in common apart from a shared faith.  

Jinmei’s point that “[b]y emphasising the ethnicity of Patani’s dominant population, you are trivialising Thailand’s diversity” is oxymoronic at best. How can you celebrate diversity if you suppress the distinctiveness (in this case ethnicity) that forms the basis of that diversity in the first place?  

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