Insurgency in Southern Thailand: Literature Review Carlyle A. Thayer
During the first decade of the twentieth century Siam incorporated the Kingdom of Patani into its territorial domain. This action sparked a hundred years of Malay Muslim resistance to incorporation into the Thai Buddhist state. The struggle for Malay Muslim self-determination has passed through various phases as traditional Malay aristocrats, Muslim religious leaders and student militants have stepped forward to lead the struggle to re-establish an independent Islamic state. The predominant character of Malay resistance historically has been ethno-nationalist and secular in nature but in recent years there have been signs that religious ideology is becoming more salient. In the aftermath of the al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 (hereafter 9/11), our understanding of the nature of the insurgency in Thailand’s southern provinces has been skewed by the rhetoric of President George W. Bushes’ Global War on Terrorism. On 20 September 2001, President Bush declared, for example, “(o)ur war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” In late 2001 the United States attacked al Qaeda bases and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in retaliation for 9/11. As a result, many al Qaeda operatives were forced to flee. Coincidently, security authorities in Malaysia and Singapore rounded up a number of suspects who belonged to a regional terrorist network known as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) which had links to al Qaeda. At the same time, the United States initiated security cooperation with the government of the Philippines to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf Group. In short order Southeast Asia had become the “second front” in the Global War on Terrorism. This view was reinforced in October 2002 when JI terrorists exploded bombs in Bali killing over two hundred persons. As result, terrorism and regional security specialists adopted what might be called an “al Qaeda-centric paradigm” in their analysis of politically violent groups in Southeast Asia (Thayer 2005a and 2005b). In this hothouse atmosphere a number of academic commentators and terrorism experts quickly identified Thailand as a “country of convenience” for al Qaeda terrorists transiting into and out of the Southeast Asian region (Abuza 2003: 172). These allegations were dismissed out of hand by no less a figure than Thaksin Shinawatra, Thailand’s Prime Minister. He characterized such reports as the work of “crazy reporters” (quoted in Chongkittavorn 2004: 268). Thaksin even declared Thailand’s neutrality when the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003. Two months later, however, he reversed position and pledged Thailand’s full support. In the late 1980s an unknown but substantial number of Thai Muslims had trained in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border at a camp run by mujihadeen leader Abdul Rasul Sayyaf (Liow 2006b: 45 and ICG 2007a:37). In 1987, at least three Thais studied under Zulkarnaen, JI’s head of military affairs. Other Thai

2 Muslims trained alongside Indonesians in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. By 2003 it had become clear to Thai security officials that key al Qaeda operatives as well as members of JI were using Thailand as a safe haven to plan terrorist operations further a field. But it was less clear to what extent these terrorist networks had penetrated Thailand’s Muslim community in the deep south. In 1999, JI attempted to expand on the personal networks forged in mujihadeen training campus by creating a regional alliance of Southeast Asian militants known as Rabitat-ul Mujahidin. At least two Thai militant organizations were represented at these discussions, Patani Islamic Mujahideen Movement (Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Patani or GMIP) and Patani United Liberation Organization (Pertubuhan Pembebasan Patani Bersatu or PULO). PULO’s delegates reportedly rejected JI’s violent strategy (International Crisis Group 2005a 37, hereafter ICG). The following year an emissary from JI based in northern Malaysia was dispatched to southern Thailand to purchase arms. He was only able to acquire thirteen hand guns. The joint Malaysia-Singapore security crackdown in late 2001 disrupted JI’s regional network and forced several of its members to seek refuge in Thailand. None was more important than Hambali (Ridduan Isamuddin), head of JI’s Malaysia-Singapore division and chief of operations. In February 2002, Hambali convened a meeting in Bangkok attended by key JI leaders who were later involved in the 2002 Bali bombings. JI reportedly financed this operation from funds that it had previously deposited with militant contacts in Narathiwat province in southern Thailand. After the Bali bombings the heat was turned up on JI across Southeast Asia. On 10 June 2003, Thai security authorities arrested three members of JI who had been planning terrorist attacks on western embassies and tourist attractions. This marked the first occasion that the Thai government officially identified those arrested as part of a regional terrorist network rather than Muslim separatists (Chongkittavorn 2004: 268). A major break through was achieved on 11 August 2003 when Thai security forces arrested Hambali in Ayutthaya. During interrogation Hambali revealed details of plans to attack the American, Australian and Israeli embassies in Bangkok. He also told his American interrogators that Thai militants refused to cooperate because they held reservations about targeting civilian tourist spots. During the first quarter of 2004 Thailand experienced a major outbreak of violence in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces in the south. This led academic commentators and security analysts to speculate that foreign terrorist networks in Southeast Asia, if not al Qaeda itself, were involved (Gunaratna et al., 2005). Their discourse has framed much of the analysis on the insurgency in Thailand’s southern border provinces, or the “fire in the south”. Between January 2004 and June 2007, 2,493 persons have been killed in this conflict. Of this number, an estimated fifty-one percent were Muslims, forty-four percent Buddhist and the remainder were unknown (ICG 2007: 19). In the period from January 2004 to May 2006, at least twenty or more victims were beheaded. The casualty figures have since risen to more than 2,600, mainly civilians (ICG 2007: 1). Buddhists have suffered disproportionally since they constitute a minority in the south. This chapter attempts to reframe how the southern insurgency should be understood. Muslims are the largest religious minority in Thailand constituting perhaps four percent of the total population. The majority are

3 Sunni adherents. They are unevenly distributed. An estimated eighty percent or four million reside in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, Songkhla and Satun. There they constitute an overwhelming majority of the population. But the southern insurgency is largely confined to Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala plus four districts in Songkhla but not Satun province. Why is this so? The main factor distinguishing the central area of insurgency from Satun is ethnicity. The Muslim population of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala are overwhelmingly ethnic Malays, while the Muslims in Satun are ethnic Thais. The remaining twenty percent of Muslims not resident in the south are scattered throughout Thailand. These Muslims have been assimilated into the Thai Buddhist state as their cousins have in Satun and do not support separatism. The persistence of Malay Muslim separatism in the south over the past hundred years as well as in recent decades may be explained by unsuccessful attempts by the Thai state to assimilate this minority. Additionally, Thai policies towards the Malay Muslims have at times exacerbated their feelings of cultural, social, political and economic alienation from the Thai polity. In southern Thailand Muslims identify themselves as Malay and speak a Malay dialect known as Jawi. Historically, the political leadership of Malay Muslim resistance has come from Malay nobles and aristocrats who were conservative and traditional in their doctrinal leanings. The Malay Muslim struggle for separatism is based on a distinct identity from the Thai nation. Malay Muslims have resisted incorporation into the Thai Buddhist state because of their ethno-nationalist identity and not because of religious extremism. The persistence of their struggle is based on historical grievances, discrimination and forced assimilation, and patterns of neglect, dating over a century. It is not Islam that has politicised Muslims in the south but Malay ethnic identity. This chapter will explore these themes in three parts. Part one will present the historical background. Part two will examine the rise of separatism in the south from the 1960s to the end of the 1990s; while part three will discuss the current conflict. In the discussion below Pattani, the English transliteration from the Thai language will refer to the province of Pattani. Patani, which is derived from the Malay spelling, refers to the geographic area of the former Kingdom of Patani.

The three southern Thai provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala once formed part of Greater Patani an independent kingdom with roots extending to the fourteenth century. During the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries Arab traders introduced Islam into the region. In 1457 the ruler of Patani converted and established a sultanate in which the role of Muslim religious elites (ulamas) became prominent. To the north, Thai states consolidated into the Ayutthaya dynasty (1351-1767) in the fourteenth century and extended their territorial control to Thailand’s southern peninsula. Siamese incorporation of Greater Patani was a prolonged historical process that resulted in the subordination of Patani to the Thai state. Malay histories record repeated clashes with Siam from the fifteenth century as a result of which Patani became a vassal and then a tributary state of Siam (Aphornsuvan 2007). In the nineteenth century Patani was conquered by

4 Siam. This meant that Patani was subject to administrative reforms adopted by King Chulalongkorn. Patani was divided into seven provinces and governed by appointees nominated by the king. Thai civil law replaced sharia and adat law. The subordination of Patani in this manner provoked resistance and revolt, and thus set the pattern for the next hundred years. Patani was officially incorporated into Siam in 1902. This action prompted the last sultan to call on the Malay aristocratic class to engage in passive resistance. The following year, the sultan was arrested and charged with treason. This action immediately provoked first popular revolt to Siamese rule that Bangkok suppressed. The sultan was released in 1906 and nine years later fled to Kelantan in British Malaya. This established a long-standing pattern of cross border support for Malay Muslims in southern Thailand by the diaspora exiled in Malaya/Malaysia. In 1904 and 1909, under the terms of two Anglo-Siamese Treaties, Siam conceded four southern Malay states to Britain in exchange for recognition of Siamese sovereignty over Patani. The latter treaty ushered in a new period of alien rule that had profound consequences for Malay society and religious and political authority in the south. In 1910, Sufi sheikhs declared jihad against the kafir (infidel) Siamese government and launched two rebellions. Both were put down by Thai military force and the Malay Muslim leaders were arrested. Siam extended its administrative control over the southern region by reconfiguring the seven provinces created in the eighteenth century into three – Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala. A fourth province, Satun, was created later. Each province was administered by a Thai governor, thus further undermining the political authority of the Malay Muslim aristocratic class. In 1921, Thailand introduced a compulsory national Primary Education Act that required all children to attend state school for four years and study a new secular curriculum in the Thai language. The new curriculum also included Buddhist ethics that were taught in some instances by monks. The new education law was viewed as a direct assault on the culture, religion and language of Malay Muslims (ICG 2005a: 3). In response Tok Gurus (heads of Islamic religious schools) led a boycott of Thai schools accompanied by massive protests against Thai educational policy. In 1922, at the urging of Patani’s sultan from his refuge in Kelantan, Malay nobles launched another unsuccessful revolt. This took the name Namsai Rebellion after the village in Pattani where residents refused to pay the land tax in protest against the 1921 education reforms. The Thai government responded by arresting and executing suspected leaders The revolt was suppressed by 1923 by the combined forces of Thai police and the Wild Tiger Corps, a militia group established by King Rama VI. The use of the militia introduced another actor into the politics of insurgency in southern Thailand that would become prominent decades later. The southern revolt of 1922-23 resulted in the closure of many Islamic schools, or ponohs (pondoks in Malay), and the further marginalization of the ulama. Over the next decade the Thai government gradually reduced taxes and violence subsided. In June 1932 the power of the absolute monarchy was ended. The so-called “revolution of 1932” was motivated by the concept of popular sovereignty based on nationhood and citizenship. It led to a concerted drive by subsequent Thai political elites to construct the Thai nation and national

5 identity around symbols of Buddhism and the monarchy. In practical terms, this meant the assimilation of ethnic minorities and the centralization of power in Bangkok. For the first time Malay Muslims were now eligible to stand for election to national parliament. Tensions between the Thai state and Malay Muslims were exacerbated with the rise to power of Field Marshal Phibul Songkhram. Phibul was an ultra nationalist who pursued an aggressive policy of assimilation in the late 1930s. Under a series of decrees known as Cultural Mandates, ethnic minorities including Malay Muslims, were forced to conform to Thai cultural values. Buddhist images were placed in all public schools and Malay Muslim children were required to bow before them to demonstrate their civic loyalty. Malay Muslims were banned from wearing traditional dress in public and were forced to adopt Thai names as a precondition for government employment (Islam 1998: 444). The use of Malay was banned in government offices and “anti-Thai” behaviour was classed as sedition under the law. Phibun’s cultural decree represented a direct challenge to Malay Muslim identity (ICG 2005a:3-4). During the Second World War Field Marshal Phibun sided with Japan. He was rewarded by Tokyo which assigned the four northern Malayan states of Kelantan, Kedah, Trengganu and Perlis to Thai control. Many Malay Muslims took refuge in Malaya and supported the British and their Malay allies in resisting Japan. Malay Muslims who remained in southern Thailand received support from both the British and the Free Thai movement that led resistance to Japanese occupation. Thailand’s Malay Muslim expected that Patani would be incorporated into British Malay at the end of the war. But their hopes were dashed when the four provinces annexed by Japan were returned to British-ruled Malaya but Patani was not, it remained part of Thailand. Disappointed nationalist Malay Muslims sought exile in Malaya and Saudi Arabia. In sum, two important developments emerged from this period. First, links between Malay Muslims on both sides of Thai-Malayan border were reinforced during the war years. Second, overseas communities of Malay Muslims from southern Thailand took root and became a source of funds for separatist movement in later years. In July 1944 Phibun was replaced as prime minister by Pridi Phanomyong, leader of the Free Thai. Under Pridi’s leadership attempts were make to win over the Malay Muslims in the south with conciliatory policies. For example, under the 1945 Patronage of Islam Act, Muslim affairs were placed in the hands of a single high-ranking official known as the Chularajmontri who advised the king on religious matters. Under the Act, Malay Muslim leaders and local mosques were incorporated into the state structure under the Ministry of the Interior. Other reforms included the appointment of two Islamic judges in each Muslim majority province to advise state courts on Islamic marriage and inheritance law. Pridi also created a special commission to investigate Malay Muslim complaints against the government. Pridi’s initiatives backfired and became a source of grievance for the Malay traditional elite and religious teachers. Pridi’s policies were widely perceived by Malay Muslim leaders as a derogation of their authority and as further undermining Malay Muslim identity. The office of Chularajmontri, for example, was originally created during the Ayutthaya dynasty and modelled

6 on Persian practice alien to Sunni Muslims. Islamic judges could not act independently in provincial courts; they could only offer advice to Thai judges who applied Thai rather than sharia law. Malay Muslims who attempted to file complaints before the special commission were reportedly beaten by the Thai police. As a consequence, riots broke out in Narathiwat in 1946. In early 1947, Haji Sulong Abdul Kadir, chairman of the Pattani Religious Council, submitted a seven-point petition to the government on behalf of the newly formed Patani People’s Movement. The petition called for (1) the appointment of an elected locally born governor for the four southern provinces; (2) a quota of eighty percent of all public servants to be Muslims; (3) the use of Thai and Malay as official languages; (4) Malay language as the medium of instruction in primary school; (5) recognition of sharia law and separate Muslim courts; (6) control over revenue and expenditure for the southern provinces; and (7) and the creation of a Muslim Council to issue laws related to Muslim customs and ceremonies (Islam 1998: 444 and Aphornsuvan 2007: 41). A petition containing similar demands was drawn up by fifty-five Malay Muslim leaders in Narathiwat. A third petition was lodged by Malay Muslims in Satun. These actions coincided with a coup d’etat that returned Field Marshal Phibun to office in November 1947. The following month one Malay Muslim leader in exile in Kelantan declared Patani independent. In January, Thai authorities responded by arresting Haji Sulong and his supporters and charged them with treason. As a result, Malay Muslim leaders immediately withdrew from meetings with Thai officials and instigated a boycott of national elections scheduled for later that year. On 3 March 1948 Patani nationalists in exile in Kelantan formed southern Thailand’s first overt separatist organisation League of Malays of Greater Patani (Gabungan Melayu Patani Raya or GAMPAR). In 1948, GAMPAR demanded the merger of the four southern provinces into a Malay Islamic state and its incorporation into the newly formed Malayan Union. A quarter of a million Malay Muslims petitioned the United Nations in support of these demands (ICG 2005a: 5). Many of the leading signatories were arrested. Increasingly public protests turned into violent confrontations and eventually yet another revolt by Malay Muslims. Mass protests were held initially outside the jail where Haji Sulong was detained, but Thai authorities quickly transferred him outside the region. Riots then broke out in all three southern provinces. The largest took place in Narathiwat on 26-28 April 1948 when a religious leader led hundreds of men into a confrontation with the police. In the ensuring clash at least four hundred Malay Muslims and thirty police were killed (ICG 2005a: 5). Thousands fled into Malaya. These events are collectively known as the Dusun Nyur rebellion and resulted in the declaration of a state of emergency. After the rebellion was quelled Phibun resorted to piecemeal concessions to the Malay Muslims that gradually reversed many of the policies contained in his wartime Cultural Mandates. Islamic law was now applied to family law and inheritance in Thai courts. Malay Muslims were permitted to wear traditional dress in the public service, and Malay language was reintroduced in primary schools. Haji Sulong was released from prison in 1952 but mysteriously disappeared two years later. It is widely believed by many Malay Muslims that he was killed by the police. The “disappearance” of

7 Malay Muslim leaders at the hand of Thai security officials was to become a common feature of the southern insurgency in later years. During 1953-54 the Malay Muslim nationalist movement was weakened by the deaths of Haji Sulong and the leaders of GAMPAR. According to Thai scholar Thanet Aphornsuvan, “Haji’s Sulong’s leadership, and his Islamic credentials, recast ethnic Malay nationalism in Islamic terms” (quoted in ICG 2005: 6). Despite his death, Haji Sulong’s legacy lived on as new organisations took up the struggle of Malay Muslims in southern Thailand and moved into the space created up by the demise of the Patani People’s Movement and GAMPAR.

Separatism in the South
The four decades from the 1960s to the end of the 1990s mark a distinct phase of separatist insurgency in southern Thailand. At the start of this period new secular and religious groups emerged that sought to achieve an independent state of Patani through armed struggle. The Thai government responded in kind but also attempted to institute policies designed to undercut the appeal of Malay Muslim ethno-nationalism. The government of General Prem Tinsulanond in the 1980s was particularly effective in dampening armed conflict. By the 1990s militant separatism appeared to be a spent force. But this view was deceptive. In the mid-1990s Malay Muslim separatists regrouped and then re-launched armed struggle that carried over into the early years of the next decade. In 1959, a group of traditional Malay Muslim aristocratic elites and religious teachers based in Kelantan founded the Patani National Liberation Front (Barisan Nasional Pembebasan Patani of BNPP). The BNPP was the first organised armed group to call for the creation of an independent Islamic state in the geographic area embracing Patani. The BNPP included a small guerrilla wing of a few hundred fighters. The BNPP recruited Malay Muslim students who were studying in Malaysia, while religious teachers in southern Thailand selected students and local villagers for political and/or military training. Some recruits were sent overseas to Libya and Syria for advanced military instruction. The Patani National Liberation Front conducted a number of sporadic attacks against government security forces in the 1960s. The BNPP’s strategy was aimed at destabilization and provocation in order to make the southern provinces ungovernable and to raise new recruits. The government of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat (1957-63) responded in part by altering some longstanding government policies in order to become more accommodating. In 1961, for example, the Thai Customs Decree was repealed. Sarit’s policies towards Malay Muslims had unintended consequences. For example, the Educational Improvement Program of 1961 mandated that religious schools teach a secular curriculum in addition to Islamic studies. These schools were now classified as private schools teaching Islam. Nonetheless, government officials continued to view the ponohs as recruitment grounds for anti-government militants. Thai government efforts to regulate ponohs were widely resented by Islamic religious instructors as schools that failed to implement the law were shut down. Also in 1961, Sarit initiated a Self-Help Land Settlement Project that resulted in the migration of over 160,000 impoverished Thai Buddhist farmers from the northeast to the

8 south. In sum, the policies carried out by the Sarit regime reinforced long held views by Malay Muslims that their identity was under threat in what they felt was an alien Thai state (ICG 2007: 19). Finally, the Sarit government and its successors met with force with force and conducted a number of military operations directed against the BNPP, particularly in 1972. In 1977 two BNPP leaders died, and shortly after the BNPP lost its support base in Kelantan when the Parti Islam se-Malaysia lost power in that state. The BNPP splintered and many members gave up the struggle. A small hard core continued spoiling attacks aimed at disrupting the government’s resettlement scheme. They also attacked local police and government officials. By the late 1980s BNPP’s armed wing was reduced to about fifty fighters. They were forced to extort money from Chinese businessmen in order to survive. The BNPP’s demise coincided with the rise of two new militant organisations that dominated the separatist struggle in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. It was during this period that Malay Muslim students, who had studied abroad, mainly in Egypt, India and Pakistan, returned to southern Thailand where the economy was depressed due to a decline in the world price of rubber. These returned students differed in outlook from the older generation of traditional aristocratic elites. They were also divided along religious and secular lines. The former founded the National Revolution Front (Barisan Revolusi Nasional or BRN) in the early 1960s, while the secularists founded the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO) in 1968. The BRN was primarily an urban group, with a support base among teachers and students in ponohs or nearby Muslim villagers. Its formation was precipitated in part by the government’s educational policy that required ponohs to adopt the national secular curriculum or face being shut down (ICG 2007:19). The BRN aimed to create an independent Islamic Republic of Patani (but not the historical sultanate). The BRN advocated an ideology of Islamic socialism and formed tactical alliances with both the Thai and Malayan communist parties. This alienated the religiously conservative members of the Malay Muslim community. PULO’s ideology, on the other hand, emphasized religion, race, homeland and humanitarianism, in other words, secular ethno-nationalism. Its stated goal was the establishment an independent Islamic state. PULO was founded in India, and maintained offices in Mecca and Kelantan. PULO directed its recruiting efforts at Patani Muslims studying in Malaysia and the Middle East or on haj in Mecca. Study abroad was facilitated by funding from Arab governments and international Islamic charities. PULO’s armed wing was called the Patani United Liberation Army and it numbered from 200 to 600 in 1981. Some fighters were sent to Syria and Libya for training, and Libya provided funding for operations. PULO’s fighters mainly carried out assassination of policemen and government officials, and conducted bomb and arson attacks against police posts, government offices and schools. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s PULO was considered by Thai officials to be the most prominent and best trained separatist group because of its ability to conduct operations in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces and the neighboring four districts in Songkhla. Throughout the 1960s, the Thai government routinely dismissed violence in the south as the work of Thai and Malayan communist guerrillas. At this time

9 there were an estimated sixty armed groups operating in the south spanning the spectrum from purely criminal to political in motivation. This picture was even more complex as criminal groups were contracted out by local politicians to do their bidding. In short, significant areas of southern Thailand’s border provinces had become lawless. In 1969, the Thai government officially acknowledged the existence of a Malay Muslim separatist movement for the first time. In the 1970s, the Thai government once again initiated a number of policies designed to win the hearts and minds of Malay Muslims. A system of admission quotas was promulgated for Muslims at universities and recruitment into the civil service. The Thai government re-established the post of Chularajmontri and set up national and provincial councils for Islamic affairs. The central government allocated funds to improve educational facilities in Muslim majority provinces at all levels from college to university. Funds were also poured into infrastructure projects such as roads, flood control, irrigation projects and agricultural extension. Nonetheless, armed attacks increased in rural Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani throughout the late 1960s and 1970s as separatist guerrillas mounted attacks on government offices and police posts. But the responsibility for other acts of violence, such as kidnappings for ransom and extortion of funds from coconut and rubber plantation owners as well as local businessmen and ordinary villagers was less clear. The finger of suspicion was often pointed at criminal gangs or other politically motivated special interest groups. The longer the conflict in southern Thailand raged the more security forces and vigilantes became implicated in everyday violence and “disappearances” of suspected separatist collaborators. In most instances these incidents were not investigated and the perpetrators were never punished. An exception occurred in November 1975 when Narathiwat province experienced massive public protests in response to the deaths of five Muslim youths shot by Thai marines. The protests were instigated by PULO but the sheer size of the demonstrations indicated widespread Malay Muslim anger against government officials who failed to curb such violence. In December, Buddhist extremists reportedly threw a bomb into a large crowd of protesters killing twelve and injuring thirty or more. The bodies of those who died were buried as martyrs (syahid). Militants issued calls to launch jihad to avenge these deaths and thus garnered a significant propaganda victory against the government (ICG 2007: 13). Thai government authorities moved quickly to diffuse the situation by meeting most of the demands put forward by the protesters. The families of the victims were offered compensation. Police arrested and charged the marines held responsible; their unit was withdrawn from Narathiwat and an official enquiry was opened. The governor of Pattani was removed and replaced by a Muslim. Prime Minister Kukrit Pramoj travelled to the south to personally hear grievances. The events of late 1975 sparked the formation of at least three short-lived extremist groups who conducted retaliatory attacks by bombing Bangkok’s international port, train stations and government offices. A bomb was even thrown into a royal ceremony in Yala in September 1977 killing five persons. The group responsible, Black December 1902, took its name from the year Patani was incorporated into Siam seventy-five years earlier (Aphornsuvan

10 2007: 29). By the end of the 1970s, it was estimated that there were about 1,000 active armed guerrillas in the south, about half of whom were associated with PULO. In the decade of the 1980s the Thai government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Prem, was able to make demonstrable progress in dampening down the levels of violence in the south. Splits within the mainstream separatist groups, PULO and the BRN, weakened the separatist movement. But more importantly, the Prem government created security institutions in the south that were better able to coordinate and implement government policy and revive cooperation with sections of the Malay Muslim community estranged by years of ill conceived government policies. Between 1980 and 1984 leadership disputes within the BRN led it to splinter into three, BRN-Coordinate, BRN-Congress and BRN-Ulama. BRNCoordinate focused on recruiting from religious schools and carried out urban sabotage. BRN-Congress was formed in 1984 as a result of a dispute about whether or not to drop “Islamic soc1alism” from the list of BRN objectives. A younger more militant group objected to the change and split off to form the BRN-Congress. They advocated stepping up military operations. The BRN-Ulama comprised the more moderate members of the original BRN. They favored a long-term strategy of gaining support in Islamic schools and downplayed the role of armed violence. In the early 1980s PULO split into two factions over the issue of whether or not to cooperate with criminal gangs. The hardliners won the power struggle and the moderates were pushed aside. PULO’s fortunes took an unexpected turn for the worse in 1984 when Saudi authorities shut down its office in Mecca and deported PULO leaders. The Saudi government acted mainly because of its concern over PULO’s growing ties with Syria and Iran. But PULO’s issuance of Republic of Patani citizenship papers and taxation of “Patani citizens” in the kingdom also aroused concern. As a result PULO’s coffers began to rundown. In 1985 several militant leaders broke with the Patani National Liberation Front to form the United Patani Mujahidin Front (Barisan Bersatu Mujahidin Patani or BBMP). This group was composed of religious teachers educated in Indonesia and Malaysia. It adopted a radical Islamist program calling for jihad against the kafir. The following year the Patani National Liberation Front changed its name to Patani Islamic Liberation Front (Barisan Islam Pembebasan Patani or BIPP) in order to stress its Islamist credentials. By the early 1990s both organizatons faded from the scene. By all accounts a relative lull in separatist violence descended on the southern provinces in the mid-1980s and throughout most of the 1990s. During this period there was a marked shift in Thai government policy that gave greater attention to understanding and respecting local Malay Muslim culture. This change in policy was facilitated by the growing climate of democratisation that swept the Thai political system as a whole. Both the Democrat Party and New Aspiration Party recruited Malay Muslims into their ranks and opened a direct channel for Malaysian Muslims to enter the Thai parliament where they formed the Wadah faction. In particular, Prime Minister Prem initiated a Policy of Attraction that emphasized economic development, popular participation and an amnesty for armed separatists. The Thai government provided funds for several large-

11 scale infrastructure projects to bring electricity and running water to remote areas. But it was the establishment of two inter-government agencies that provided the crucial catalyst for the success of Prem’s new conciliatory policies (ICG 2005a: 11-12 and 2007a: 13). The first agency was a combined Civil-Police-Military command (known as CPM 43). CPM 43 coordinated security operations and acted to stamp out extra-judicial killings and disappearances. CPM 43 came under the direct control of the Fourth Army Region commander. The second agency, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC), was established in 1981 and was designed to overcome poor coordination among government departments. It was responsible mainly for political affairs. The SBPAC was initially placed under the command of the Fourth Army Region but in 1996 it was transferred to the Ministry of the Interior. At first the SBPAC dealt with communist insurgency but was soon drawn into dealing with separatist violence. The SBPAC performed many functions. It coordinated the activities of government agencies and security forces in the south and acted as the channel of communication back to Bangkok. The SBPAC performed the important and sensitive role of liaison with the local Malay Muslim community. The SBPAC served as the venue where Muslim leaders and teachers could meet with police and soldiers and local officials to exchange views. This enabled conflicting parties to air grievances. Military and government officials also set up village-level committees to promote both security and economic development. The administrative arrangements set up by the SBPAC helped reduce tensions and are widely credited with reducing the level of violence during this period (ICG 2007: 13). Over nine hundred militants took up the government’s offer of amnesty and rehabilitation in the period up to 1997. The SBPAC also performed the role of addressing ignorance and prejudice among government officials. The SBPAC conducted courses for Thai officials on Malay Muslim culture including language training in Jawi, the local Malay dialect. And finally, the SBPAC was charged with reducing corruption. It transferred over one hundred public servants out of the south by 1995. But this was offset by the transfer to the south of corrupt and poorly performing officials as a disciplinary measure. The Prem government may have been successful in dampening down the level of violence in the south, but it was not successful in eradicating the existence of militant separatist groups. New groups formed and took shape in the 1990s out the fragmentation and splintering of earlier organizations. And for the first time they began to institutionalize their cooperation. In 1992, the BRN-C formed Pemuda as its youth wing and began recruiting students. In 1995, two new groups appeared – New PULO and the Patani Islamic Mujahidin Movement (Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Patani or GMIP). The GMIP was formed by veterans of the Afghan conflict. In August 1997, activists from the BRN-C, New PULO and the GMIP formed a loose coalition known as the Council of the Muslim People of Patani (Majelis Parmesyuaratan Rakyat Melayu Patani or MPRMP) or Bersatu (Unity) for short. The militants immediately implemented a program of targeted assassinations of Thai government and security officials carried out by small cells known by the codename, “Falling Leaves” (ICG 2005a: 14).

12 During the 1990s, the political climate in Thailand improved as the process of democratisation spread. Malay Muslims joined the Democrat Party and participated in national politics. Some Malay Muslims returned from selfimposed exile. External support for southern separatists declined as a result of effective Thai diplomacy in the Middle East. Thailand and Malaysia stepped up their cross border cooperation. In 1998, for example, Malaysian authorities arrested four key separatist leaders including PULO’s military commander and the leader and deputy leader of New PULO. In sum, by the end of the 1990s all the main separatist organisations had fragmented and splintered due to internal bickering and defections and separatism in the southern provinces appeared to be a spent force. Violence in the southern provinces did not come to an end; but it was generally attributed to criminal gangs, bandits, crooked businessmen, drug traffickers, arms smugglers, corrupt police and disgruntled local politicians. In March 1998, the Southern Border Province Administrative Centre estimated that insurgent strength stood at 405: 79 GMIP fighters, 93 PULO fighters, 102 New PULO fighters and 131 BRN-C fighters. Two years later, the CPM 43 headquarters estimated that separatist forces had dwindled to a mere 70 to 80 “armed bandits”. In sum, the Thai government appeared to hold the upper hand as its counter-insurgency strategy took hold.

The Current Insurgency
In the first quarter of 2004, there was a marked escalation of violence in the south. Many security analysts and terrorism specialists took this as evidence that international terrorism had arrived on Thailand’s southern shores and foreign fighters and jihadist ideology were now accelerating “the fire in the south.” This was both an alarmist and erroneous view. The southern insurgency did take on new dimensions as a result of the impact of 9-11, the coalition attack on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. In March 2003, for example, Malay Muslims in Yala instigated a boycott of American goods and erected billboards declaring the province a “U.S. produce-free zone.” In August, Malay Muslims held angry protests when the Thai government announced that it was making a troop commitment to Iraq. But both the intensity and scope of violence which broke out indicated that the prime causes were overwhelmingly local. As of November 2007, there is no credible evidence of al Qaeda or other foreign terrorist involvement. What is clear is that insurgency-related violence in the southern provinces steadily escalated from fifty incidents in 2001, to seventy-five in 2002, to 119 in 2003 and then dramatically jumped to 1,843 in 2004 (ICG 2005a: 16). An incident was any recorded act such as a shooting, arson, detonation of explosives directed against security forces, government officials and their offices, schools and other economic infrastructure. Some analysts argue that the relative lull of the 1990s was not entirely due to the efforts of the SBPAC but to a conscious decision by the BRN-C and perhaps other major separatist groups in the late 1980s or early 1990s to lie low, consolidate, and prepare for a renewed struggle in a decade’s time. This view is not incompatible with another major explanation, namely that the policies of the Thaksin government securitized the situation in the south to such an extent that these very policies became the problem.

13 Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai party swept to power in April 2001. Thaksin repeatedly claimed that residual violence in the southern provinces was the work of bandits and criminal gangs. This assumption was badly shaken in December 2001 when militants conducted simultaneous raids on five police checkpoints in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces in which six security personnel were killed. No one claimed responsibility but Thai police alleged that New PULO had been involved. This raid displayed sophistication and greater coordination that had not been seen for several years and was a precursor for what was to come. In May 2002, Prime Minister Thaksin abolished both the Southern Border Province Administrative Center and the CPM 43 command in part to weaken the influence of his main political rival, the Democrat Party, which had strong support in the south (ICG 2007: 33). Thaksin placed responsibility for dealing with the “fire in the south” in the hands of the police. By this single act Thaksin cut the eyes and ears out of a relatively effective intelligence network and precipitated rivalry and friction between the army and the police. Thaksin’s restructuring of the security architecture did little to address longstanding grievances that had fuelled separatist violence. Quite the opposite, without interagency restraints, the Thai police and other security-related organisations became increasingly implicated in human rights abuses and extra judicial killings. This was exemplified in 2003 when Thaksin’s war on drugs resulted in an estimated 2,275 extrajudicial killings nationwide. Drug smugglers and their cross-border networks were targeted in the south. The expansion of the U.S. Global War on Terrorism from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2003 was widely viewed by Malay Muslims in southern Thailand as an attack on Islam and sparked a sense of shared victimhood. New PULO, GMIP and the BRN-C took advantage of this environment to step up their armed attacks. For example, in 2003 Thai security seized a BRN-C policy document that outlined a three-year seven-step strategy to revive armed struggle and create an independent Islamic state. On 4 January 2004, an estimated one hundred militants conducted a well executed raid on the 4th Engineering Battalion camp in Cho Airong district, Narathiwat. The raid lasted only twenty minutes but in that time the militants broke into the armoury and hauled away over four hundred weapons, mainly M-16 assault rifles but also light-machine guns, rocket launchers and rocket propelled grenades. Four Buddhist soldiers were shot dead but Muslim conscripts were left untouched. Almost simultaneously diversionary attacks were launched on twenty schools and three police stations across eleven of Narathiwat’s districts. In Yala province, militant placed burning tires on roads and planted fake explosives on bridges. Quite simply, these spectacular attacks, because of their planning, coordination and execution, marked a new phase in the southern insurgency. Prime Minister Thaksin now acknowledged that “professional and well trained” insurgents were involved. He declared martial law in eight districts and later extended this to all three southern provinces. Although no separatist group claimed responsibility for the attack, arrest warrants were issued for GMIP and BRN leaders. Six thousand troops and police were dispatched to the south. The army was given the power to arrest without a court warrant and authority to use deadly force.

14 In the first quarter of 2004 there were 320 recorded incidents of violence involving the assassination of police personnel, government officials, Buddhist monks, students and ordinary residents. Both separatists and Thai security personnel were implicated in the abduction and murder of over one hundred persons. In February, soldiers entered a ponoh in hot pursuit of a suspect without first requesting permission. This provoked Muslim leaders in all three southern provinces to issue a joint statement suspending cooperation with the Thai government. In April, Thaksin set up the Southern Border Provinces Peace Building Command to reverse the deteriorating situation in the south by improving interagency coordination in all aspects of counterinsurgency. On 28 April 2004, groups of militants gathered at mosques in Yala, Pattani and Songkhla provinces before conducting simultaneous attacks on security checkpoints, police stations and army bases. The attackers, who were mounted on motorbikes and were generally lightly armed with machetes and knives, quickly retreated in the face of armed resistance. The most serious incident occurred at Krue Ze Mosque in Pattani where Thai army forces surrounded and eventually stormed the mosque killing all thirty-one inside. At the end of the day a total of 105 militants, five security personnel and one civilian had been killed. This was the highest death toll in a single day in decades. The militant attacks on 28 April occurred on the fifty-sixth anniversary of the Dusun Nyur rebellion (Satha-Anand 2007). Once again, no separatist group claimed responsibility. Thai police found a pamphlet among the dead at Krue Ze Mosque entitled Berjihad di Patani (The Struggle in Patani). Some terrorism specialists have latched on to this document to claim that international jihadist ideology had now seeped into the separatist struggle in southern Thailand. But expert analysis of the Jawi language text of Berjihad di Patani reveals a different interpretation altogether (Sugunnasil 2007 and Liow 2006b: 39-42). Berjihad di Patani was written by a religious scholar based in Kelantan. It draws on the historical tradition of appeals to Islam, martyrdom and jihad to justify armed struggle to re-establish the Islamic sultanate of Patani Darussalam. Berjihad di Patani makes no reference to the global jihadi struggle and contains no anti-western or anti-Zionist themes. The militants who participated in the attacks in April 2004 represent a different strand in Malay Muslim separatism from those who executed the January 2004 coordinated raids. The April attacks were carried out by pious young students who had been recruited and indoctrinated by religious teachers in a local variant of Sufi mysticism. This involved the recitation of prayers over a prolonged period of time, drinking holy water and special blessings that conferred invulnerability to knives and bullets. Thai police found strings of beads used in Sufi meditation on the bodies of those killed. In sum, the attackers were most likely one strand that split off from a broader separatist youth movement that had been growing in strength and was about to take center stage in the southern separatist movement. On 25 October 2004, six Muslim members of the local security forces in Tak Bai district, Narathiwat province, were arrested by police for their alleged involvement in providing weapons to local militants. Their arrest provoked a hostile crowd to gather outside the police station where they had been detained. Local militants mobilized up to 1,500 demonstrators and then manipulated the crowd to provoke a confrontation with police. The police

15 were forced to fire warning shots and resort to water cannons on fire trucks. The crowd responded by throwing bricks and bottles. Thai army soldiers retaliated by firing directly into the crowd. Soldiers then forced the protestors to lay face down on the ground where their hands were bound behind their backs. An estimated 1,300 men were stacked into trucks and transported to a nearby army base. On arrival it was discovered that seventy-eight had died of suffocation. The Tak Bai incident provoked communal outrage and led to a steep escalation in the number of murders and bombings. A village chief was beheaded in November and a note was placed on his body reading “For the innocents of Tak Bai.” Soon the southern provinces were flooded with leaflets that called for the expulsion of Thai Buddhist oppressors and the liberation of the Malay Muslim homeland of Patani. In short, revenge trumped ideology and politics as the main motivation for the large number of scattered small scale acts of violence that characterized everyday life in the south. In February 2005, Thaksin and his Thai Rak Thai party were returned to power in a crushing electoral victory. In July, in response to a coordinated bombing raid by sixty militants on the Yala provincial capital, Thaksin promulgated an Emergency Decree (ICG 2005b). Under this decree security officials were given immunity from prosecution and suspects could be detained for thirty days without charge. Thaksin continued to press his policy of securitization of the Malay Muslim problem in southern Thailand by relying increasingly on paramilitary forces. Both the Thai Rangers (Thahan Phran) and the Ministry of Interior’s Volunteer Defence Corps (Or Sor) tripled in size after January 2004. The Village Defence Volunteers (Chor Ror Bor) also underwent a massive expansion with recruitment of 24,300 volunteers over the period 2002-04. Plans were announced in 2005 to post thirty volunteers in each of the 1,580 villages in the southern provinces or a doubling of strength to 47,400. The Village Protection Force (Or Ror Bor) was established in September 2004 under the patronage of the Queen. It immediately recruited one thousand members in Narathiwat and grew to more than 10,000 by 2007. In addition, a number of informal Buddhist militias sprang up such as Thais United (Ruam Thai) that enlisted 6,000 volunteers in Yala province (ICG 2007b). At the same time, in 2005, the separatist movement underwent a further transformation. BRN-C emerged as the strongest and best organised insurgent force. It fielded a highly trained assault force known as the RKK (Runda Kumpulan Kecil or Small Armed Patrol Group). The BRN-C was responsible for organizing several major coordinated attacks that took place during this period. The BRN-C also adopted a highly successful strategy of mobilizing youth through its affiliate, Pemuda. In 2005, the BRN-C stood behind the formation of the Patani Liberation Assembly (Dewan Pembebasan Patani or DPP) in an effort to exert general influence but not operational control over numerous small autonomous cells that were carrying out everyday acts of violence. There are two additional elements in the current transformation of the southern insurgency that should be noted. The first is the emergence of a large youth movement recruited from ponohs, technical schools, universities, and from among workers, farmers and the unemployed. A major component of the youth movement is based primarily but not exclusively on a network of

16 thirty state-funded “private schools teaching Islam.” For example, several of the militants involved in the 28th April 2004 incident were students from the exclusive Thammachat Witthaya private school in Yala (Liow 2006b: 30-32). The second element is the mobilization of civilians, women in particular, to participate in protests in response to provocations by Thai security authorities. The use of mass mobilization techniques was graphically demonstrated during communal violence in Saba Yoi district, Narathiwat in March 2007 (ICG 2007: 21). Local Malay Muslims blamed Thai Rangers for a grenade attack on the headmaster of a local boarding school who had refused to adopt the secular national curriculum. When police arrived to investigate they were denied access by a picket line formed by local women. The standoff lasted for nearly a month. In May-June, a group calling itself the Student Network for People’s Protection led a highly organised five-day demonstration at the central mosque in Pattani to protest abuses by security forces. The demonstration attracted over 4,000 persons who blocked city traffic and disrupted business (ICG 2007: 12-13). Thaksin’s securitization policies proved counter-productive as some elements of the poorly disciplined paramilitaries continued to engage in widespread human rights abuses, disappearances and extrajudicial killings (Human Rights Watch 2007a and 2007b). Thaksin’s policy of securitization attracted criticism from both Privy Councillor Prem Tinsulanond and no less a figure than the King and played a role in his overthrow on 19 September 2006 in a coup. Thailand’s new military leaders promptly sought to address the southern insurgency (ICG 2007a). Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont issued an unprecedented public apology for past government abuses and ordered an end to the black listing of suspects. In October 2006, Surayud issued two orders. The first set out the principles for a peaceful resolution of conflict and the restoration of justice in the south. The second announced the restoration of the SBPAC and CPM Task Force under the overall direction of the Internal Security Operations Command. Thai government attempts to open a dialogue with exiled separatists in 2006 failed because their organisations no longer had any influence on the ground in the south. Southern insurgents responded by stepping up violence and propaganda aimed at undermining conciliation. Conflict related incidents recorded at the end of the year were higher than those following the Tak Bai incident in October. Conclusion Thailand’s “fire in the south” defies easy characterization because there are multiple causes and multiple actors involved in the escalating violence (Askew 2007). The perpetrators of large-scale coordinated attacks are largely unknown not least because they have not identified themselves. This has led one terrorism specialist to characterize the southern insurgency as a “conspiracy of silence” (Abuza 2005). Terrorism specialists who have attempted to portray the southern insurgency as increasingly motivated by Islamic extremism and international jihadist ideology have missed the mark. They rarely address the question of Malay Muslim ethno-nationalism and the role of state violence, particularly by the armed forces, paramilitary groups, police and Buddhist militias as factors contributing to militant separatism. While it is clear that the separatist movement in southern Thailand has taken on a greater religious tinge in

17 recent years, that factor alone cannot explain the multiple forms and widespread nature of the violence that is occurring. Dire warnings that al Qaeda and its affiliates will be attracted to the southern insurgency seem improbable given their current focus on Afghanistan and Iraq and the decimation of the JI network in Southeast Asia. An estimated 10,000 police and 22,000 regular soldiers are currently assigned to the southern provinces to cope with the separatist threat. Insurgents continue to operate with impunity in many districts and the daily killing of security personnel and ordinary civilians continues without let up. One major factor that could bear on the southern insurgency is whether or not Thailand returns to democratic rule as a result of the national elections scheduled for 23rd December 2007. A new government formed by the Democrat Party may be able to restore working relations with Malay Muslim elites that were so effective in the 1990s in reducing tensions. This development could set the stage for an effective Thai government response to long-standing Malay Muslim grievances that have fuelled separatist insurgency for over four decades.


Time Line
1457 1902 1903 1909 1922 June 1932 1939 April 26-28, 1948 1959 1960 1968 1981 1997 April 2001 December 24, 2001 The ruler of Patani converts to Islam Siam annexes Kingdom of Patani First Malay Muslim revolt against Siamese rule Anglo-Siam Treaty establishes border between Siam and British Malaya, Patani Namsai Rebellion by Malay nobles against Siamese rule Absolute monarchy ended in Siam Siam renamed Thailand Dusun Nyur rebellion, Narathiwat province Patani National Liberation Front founded Barisan Revolusi Nasional founded Patani United Liberation Organization founded Southern Border Provinces Administrative Committee and Civil-Military-Police Task Force established Bersatu (Unity), umbrella organisation to coordinate separatist activities formed Thaksin Shinawatra and Thai Rak Thai party win national elections Militants launch simultaneous attacks on five police check points in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces marking new phase in southern insurgency Southern Border Provinces Administrative Committee and Civil-Military-Police Task Force disbanded Raid on 4th Engineering Battalion armoury accompanied by diversionary attacks in eleven districts reveals new level of coordination by militant separatists Siege at Kreu Ze Mosque in Pattani results in massacre Tak Bai incident results in suffocation 78 Malay Muslims while in custody Thaksin and Thai Rak Thai party win re-election Executive Decree on Public Emergency Situations issued Administration in

May 2002 January 4, 2004

April 28, 2004 October 25, 2006 February 2005 July 14, 2005

September 19, 2006 Thaksin government overthrown in military coup October 2006 Southern Border Provinces Administrative Committee and Civil-Military-Police Task Force re-established


BBKP Barisan Bersatu Kemerdekaan Patani or United Front for Patani Independence, founded in 1989, re-emerged in June 1997 as an umbrella organization to coordinate activities of separatist groups and known as Bersatu Barisan Bersatu Mujahidin Patani Mujahidin Front, founded in 1985 or United Patani


“Unity”, umbrella organisation to coordinate separatist activities, formed in 1997, see BBKP Barisan Islam Pembebasan Patani or Patani Islamic Liberation Front, the name adopted by BNPP remnants in 1986 Barisan Nasional Pembebasan Patani or Patani National Liberation Front, founded 1959 and changed name to BIPP in 1986 Barsian Revolusi National or National Revolution Front established in 1960-63, split into three factions in 1980s National Revolution Front-Coordinate or Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Koordinasi, one of three major BRN factions to emerge in 1979-80. By 2001 it was the main militant group for the current generation of separatists


BRN-Congress National Revolution Front-Congress one of three major BRN factions, formed 1984 BRN-Ulama Barisan Revolusi National-Ulama or National Revolution Front-Ulama, one of three major BRN factions, formed around 1984, also known as GUP Village Defence Volunteers Civil-Police-Military joint command, 1981-2002 Dewan Pembebasan Patani or Patani Liberation Assembly Gabungan Melayu Patani Raya or the Greater Patani Malay Association formed in 1948 and disbanded 1953 Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Patani or Patani Islamic Mujahidin Movement formed in 1995 by Afghan veterans, grew out of GMP Gerakan Mujahidin Patani or Patani Mujahidin Movement, established in 1986 but largely defunct by 1993 Gerakan Ulama Patani or Patani Ulama Movement, one of the BRN’s three major factions, formed around 1984 local Malay language dialect spoken in southern Thailand Jemaah Islamiyah, literally “Islamic community” infidel


GMP GUP Jawi JI kafir

20 KMM Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia or Malaysian Mujahidin Group formed by Afghan veterans in 1995, also referred to as Kumpulan Militan Malaysia or Malaysian Militant Group Majelis Parmesyuaratan Rakyat Melayu Patani or Council of the Muslim People of Patani, founded in 1997, also known as Bersatu New Patani United Liberation Organisation, formed in 1995 Village Protection Force or Village Protection Volunteers, established under patronage of Queen Sirikit in September 2004 Town Protection Volunteers Volunteer Defence Corps Patani National Youth Movement Parti Islam se-Malaysia or Islamic Party of Malaysia Youth movement associated with BRN-C, formed in 1992 Pejuang Kemerdekaan Patani or Patani Freedom Fighters Pasukan Komando Revolusi Rakyat Patani, sometimes given to Pemuda, the BRN youth wing a name


New PULO Or Ror Bor

Or Ror Mor Or Sor PANYOM PAS Pemuda PKB PKRRP PNPP Ponoh Pondok PPM PULO Pusaka

Barisan Nasional Pembebasan Patani or Patani National Liberation Front, founded in 1959 Muslim religious boarding school (Thai) Muslim religious boarding school (Malay) Patani People’s Movement Pertubuhan Pembebasan Patani Bersatu or Patani United Liberation Organization, founded in 1968 Pusat Persatuan Tadika Narathiwat, Center for the Narathiwat Kindergarten Associations, an Islamic educational foundation, established in 1994 Runda Kumpulan Kecil or Small Armed Patrol Group of the PKB, an armed unit of the BRN-C, emerged circa 2005 Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center,1981-2002 Southern Border Provinces Peace Building Command, formed 2004 martyr Islamic law Thai Army Rangers head religious teacher at a pondok, or Tok Guru (Malay) male religious teacher the name of a faction of Malay Muslim parliamentarians

RKK SBPAC SBPPBC syahid syaria Tahan Phran Toh Kru ustadz Wadah


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