War and Peace at the Southern Border

War and Peace at the Southern Border - April 30-May 5, 2005

These are chapter summaries from the Thai-language War and Peace at the Southern Border by Dr Rung Kaewdaeng, Deputy Education Minister. This is the book that Democrat leader Abisit Vejjajiva suggested that PM Thaksin should read.

Here is the index:
Introduction: I am a Yala resident
Part 1 - War, War and War
Chapter 1 - A Peninsula of Diversity
Chapter 2 - Lungkasula Domain
Chapter 3 - Pattani Domain
Chapter 4 - Pattani when it was independent of Siam
Chapter 5 - Crisis and Solutions in the age of King Rama V and VI
Chapter 6 - Role for Foreigners (Islam religion, western, Chinese, Malayu thief, Malaysia, Arab, international Muslim organizations, and international terrorist ) and the Pattani problem
Chapter 7 - Southern border problem in the age of Field Marshal Plaek (Por) Piboonsongkarm
Part 2 - War at the present time
Chapter 8 - Separatist land movement (BIPP, BRN, PULO, BBMP, GMIP, BRN Coordinate, PANYOM, etc.)
Chapter 9 - Fight at the present time
Chapter 10 - Southern people’ lives that changed
Part 3 - Sustainable peace
Chapter 11 - The grandeur of the King and Queen
Chapter 12 - Education Reform for all Thai people
Chapter 13 - Designing the Educational System
Chapter 14 - Peace College
Chapter 15 - Other factors for sustainable peace

Chapter 3 - Pattani domain
Pattani from 1500-1849 was an independent domain having a governor do trading and has relations with Ayuthaya.
The Kingdom of Ayuthaya tried to expand power to the south but could not win Pattani, because it had trade relations with many countries in Europe and Malaka, and also has religious relations with the head city of Malayu, so it was supported with weapons and people.
The history of Pattani domain is the same as any other, seizing property (treasure), killing, a brilliant era and then an era of decline. The last war with Siam was in 1849. Lots of people from the Pattani domain are Muslim, but there are also Siamese Buddhists. The Muslims, Chinese and Buddhist live together in peace.

Chapter 4 - Pattani when it was independent of Siam
An initial history of Rattanakosin of 116 years said Thailand won Pattani many times and after that Pattani could gather its people and restore its sovereign although its population was not large (3000-4000 Chinese, Malayu, and Siamese).
The impact of war between Siam and Pattani was that lots of Pattani people were forcibly moved to Bangkok. Some of the original city dwellers evacuated to Kalantan (in Malaysia). Many Malaysians of Pattani origin are now in Kalantan, Perak and at the border. These people have bad attitude to Thailand up to now.

Chapter 5 - Crisis and solutions in the age of King Rama V and VI
Changing Governor from 'dependency governor' system to municipality system in the King Rama V era impacts Pattani status [the municipality system divides the district into smaller parts diminishing the power of the former governor]. This causes Praya (Lord) Wichit Pakdi to lose his position in controlling Pattani. He and his family had to move to Kalantan state. After that his heirs fought with Thailand up to the present.
Dr. Rung thinks the Thai secret police perhaps have information on the movement in Malaysia of these people and know of their communication. The first cause of the security problem in the three southern provinces has roots in Malaysia which starts from the historical movement of Ton Kumuhamad Muhaiyiddin [the eldest son of the last Praya Wichit Pakdi, governor of Pattani--he is a rebel in Thai history, but in Pattani, he is the hero of the Pattani Restoration movement]. This movement is thought to be not only in Malaysia, but also has support in many countries and is difficult to conquer.

Chapter 6 - Role for Foreigners (Islam religion, western, Chinese, Malayu thief, Malaysia, Arab, international Muslim organizations, and international terrorist ) and the Pattani problem
To solve problems in the south, one has to consider the factors of history, language, religion and cultural difference. Moreover one needs to consider the outside factors such as the neighbor country Malaysia, the World Muslim Organization, and the most important are world terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and J.I.
Since the crisis surrounding the Takbai event, foreign countries asked for information, but some helped with moral support, money, and terror-fighting techniques. Some foreign soldiers may have come to help also.
Foreign involvement of all kinds in the three southern provinces should not be overlooked.

Chapter 7 - Southern border problem in the age of Field Marshal Plaek (Por) Piboonsongkarm
The government of Gen. Praek (Por) Priboonsongkram did not understand the problem in the south and neither did many powerful persons of the time in Bangkok. Few studied or understood the history, religion and culture and this caused lots of problems that persist up to now. Most citizens, the military, police, politicians, liked to say “there is no crisis.”
The main train of thought was to regain and hold onto sovereignty. However the rebels did not vanish with time, but passed their philosophy from father to son with new organizations built to regain the Pattani state all the time.
The development of the three southern provinces in Gen. Sarit Thanarat era was a good strategy although it could not solve whole problem. Unfortunately the development was not continuous.

Part 2 - War at the present time

Chapter 8 - Separatist land movement (BIPP, BRN, PULO, BBMP, GMIP, BRN Coordinate, PANYOM, etc.)
The separatism in southern Thailand started before WW2 and was set up by Ton Kumamad Mahaiyiddin, the founder of the terrorist organization. They stay in Malaysia and have offices there, but the fighting forces are in Thailand. When the organization suffers a setback, they retreat back to Malaysia to work. Some are teachers in the National University of Malaysia because terrorists have dual nationalities to easily enter both countries.
These terrorism organizations have moved continuously. They start and stop operations continuously. Dr. Rung contends that they never stop and the system has developed thoroughly. In the first era, they operate in the forest with old persons and those with a low education level. Eventually it expands to many ages. Old and young students and operate and train in town. The newer terrorists are highly educated. Some are doctors from religious educational institutes in and outside the country. They have ideology and willingness to sacrifice. Some are believe in black magic. They have skill using weapons, making bombs, have studied in foreign countries, and use the internet very well.

Development of Terrorist movement in the three southern provinces
  Early period Middle period Present period
Place Founder in Kalantan, Malaysia Mountain at the border of Thailand-Malaysia Towns, villages, private religious schools
Person High level governor and followers Head persons, middle level politicians Ustas (religious teacher), students, politicians

Nowadays, the face of terrorist is changed with the era and world situation. If we investigate, we will find the terrorist and national and local politicians, including the religious teacher (ustas), are sometimes the same person or group.

Chapter 9 - Fight at the present time
The cause of the fighting at Pattani in 2004 are as follows:
1. There is still traditional ideology remaining concerning separatism.
2. The coming of the "Malaysian magician" that can influence youth. [On April 28, 2004, authorities learned of an influential Malaysian named "Pohsoo" about 58-60 years old who lives in Tanohmaeroh, Kalantan state. Mr. Pohsoo set up himself as a magician who created a magic formula that supposedly made one invisible to police. It is thought that this person also wrote Berjihad The Pattani or Fighting at Pattani. This book's contents incite and emphasize hatred of Thai people and claims that Thai people are outside the Muslim religion and enemies of Islam.]
3. The role of ustaz [teachers of religious studies] to incite separatism and lead students in the wrong way concerning religious doctrines.
4. The mistake of the government in many areas such as dissolving the administration groups in the southern provinces, poor education, and the police and military being disunited.

These do not include the ongoing old problems such as official government corruption, persecution of people by the government officials, and fighting between national and local governments for influence.

Chapter 10 - Southern peoples’ lives that changed
2004 is the year of the crisis in the southern border provinces. Guns are stolen, there are riots, burning of government buildings, school, and police stations, and killing of the officers and innocent people.
Peace changes to a great upheaval. Unity and love for each other, which had long been ours, had been destroyed. Nowadays it is only crisis, killing, hate and apprehension instead.

Part 3 - Sustainable peace

Chapter 11 - The grandeur of the King and Queen
Following the The King and The Queen's speeches, the government should have respect for their important strategy by considering that Thais are people of all nationalities, religions and cultures. And that all must take responsibility to solve problems starting from the level of villages, thambol, amphur (district ), province, throughout the country and this should be the national agenda.

Chapter 12 - Education reform for all Thai people
The urgent mission of the government is to conquer the terrorists. But the long term goal is educating all Thais to study the real and accurate situation. This is because Thais are misunderstanding the idea of 'Thai-Muslim' in many things and think that Muslims and terrorists are the same. The truth is that the terrorist is a person who does not respect strictly the Islamic religion and the terrorist ustaz [religious teachers] teach the wrong religious doctrines.

Chapter 13 - Designing the educational system
One factor to solve problems and build peace is designing a new educational system which teaches those of different religions the ability to live peacefully together in the society of the southern provinces.

Chapter 14 - Peace College
A 'peace college' could be set up to will solve the problem of people who do not know how to work and understand each other.

Chapter 15 - Other factors for sustainable peace
To solve the problems of the three southern province problems, the government must dare to think creatively and do new things in many areas. Because the old ways prove that is less chance for success, especially for the situation of terrorism in present.

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