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26. Thailand/Malay Muslims (1948-present)

 

Crisis Phase (February 1, 1948-January 21, 1968): Malay Muslims began a secessionist movement against the Thailand government in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwatin, and Setul in February 1948. Government police and Muslims clashed near Kampung Resab in February 1948, resulting in the deaths of eight government policemen. Some 400 Muslims and 30 Thai government policemen were killed during violent clashes in Kampung Dusun Nyor in Narathiwatin province on April 26-27, 1948. Some 5,000 Muslim refugees fled to Malaya. The government declared a state-of-emergency in September 1948. Thai police killed Haji Sulong, a leader of the Muslim separatists in Songkhla in southern Thailand, on August 13, 1954.  The Pattani National Liberation Front (PNLF) was established in 1959.  The National Revolution Front (Barasi Revolusi Nasional-BRN) was established on March 13, 1960.

Conflict Phase (January 22, 1968-December 31, 1975): The Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) was established by Tengku Bira Kotanila (Kabir Abdul Rahman) on January 22, 1968.  Muslim separatists led by Tengku Abdul Jalal established the National Liberation Front of the Pattani Republic (NLFPR) and the National Liberation Army of the Pattani People (NLAPP) in 1969.  Government troops conducted a military offensive against Muslim rebels from 1968 to 1975, resulting in the deaths of 329 Muslim rebels. Eleven Muslims were killed during a demonstration in Pattani on December 4, 1975.  Some 500 individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (January 1, 1976-January 2, 2004): PULO rebels unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit in Tambon Sateng in the Yala province on September 22, 1977, resulting in the deaths of five individuals. PULO rebels killed four civilians and three government soldiers in May 1980, and killed five individuals in the Mayo district on June 7, 1980.  PULO rebels killed two government soldiers in Yala province on August 17, 1993. PULO rebels killed a civilian in Narathiwat province on August 22, 1993. Government troops clashed with Muslim rebels in Narathiwat province on April 2, 1997, resulting in the deaths of four rebels. Islamic militants exploded bombs throughout southern Thailand on April 7, 2001, resulting in the death of one individual.  Some 50 government troops and police were killed by Muslim rebels in 2002.

Conflict Phase (January 3, 2004-present):  Islamic militants resumed their insurgency against the government on January 3, 2004.  Four government soldiers were killed by Islamic militants in Narathiwat province on January 3-4, 2004.  Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declared martial law in the provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala on January 5, 2004.  Government troops and Islamic militants clashed in southern Thailand on April 27-28, 2004, resulting in the deaths of 105 rebels, five government soldiers, and one civilian.  One government soldier was killed by Islamic militants in Pattani Province on June 19, 2004.  Some 85 Muslims were killed by governmental soldiers in Narathiwat province on October 25, 2004.  The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) conducted a five-member good offices mission in the country on June 2-13, 2005.  Two government policemen were killed by Islamic militants in Sungai Padi District in Narathiwat Province on September 23, 2005.  Six individuals were killed in political violence in southern Thailand on October 26, 2005.  The government declared martial law in Chana and Thepha districts in Songkhla province on November 3, 2005.  Nine individuals were killed in an Islamic militant ambush in Rangae District on November 16, 2005.  Islamic militants attacked a government building in the village of Pado in Pattani Province on March 16, 2006, resulting in the deaths of five individuals.  Three government policemen were killed in a bombing in Chana District in Songkhla Province on August 2, 2006.  Two individuals were killed in bombings in Yala Province on August 31, 2006.  Four individuals, including a Canadian citizen, were killed in bombings in Hat Yai in Songkhla Province on September 16, 2006.  One government soldier was killed in a bombing in the town of Narathiwat on October 22, 2006.  One individual was killed by suspected Islamic militants in Yala Province on January 13, 2007.  Nine individuals were killed in an attack by suspect Islamic militants in southern Thailand on March 14, 2007.  Three individuals were killed in an attack against a school in Songkhla Province on March 18, 2007.  Seven government soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing blamed on Islamic militants in Narathiwat Province on May 9, 2007.  Eleven government soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Yala Province on June 1, 2007.  Seven government soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in Yala Province on June 15, 2007.  Six individuals were killed in a bombing of a restaurant in Pattani Province on December 4, 2007.  Eight government soldiers were killed in an ambush in Narathiwat Province on January 14, 2008.  Five individuals were killed by Islamic militants in Pattani Province on April 24, 2008.  One individual was killed in a bombing in Narathiwat Province on November 4, 2008.  Nine individuals were killed by Islamic militants in the provinces of Pattani and Yala on April 27-28, 2009.  Ten individuals were killed during an Islamic militant attack on a mosque in Narathawat Province on June 8, 2009.  Three individuals were killed by Islamic militants in Narathiwat Province on June 13, 2009.  Government security forces clashed with Islamic militants in Yala Province on June 27, 2009, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier, one policeman, and one militant.  Two government soldiers were killed by Islamic militants in Narathiwat Province on August 23, 2009.  Four individuals, including one policeman, were killed in Pattani Province on October 26, 2009.  Five government soldiers were killed by a roadside bombing in Narathiwat Province on July 1, 2010.  Four government soldiers were killed in an Islamic militant attack on a militant base in Narathiwat Province on January 20, 2011.  Nine individuals were killed in a bombing in Yala Province on January 25, 2011.  Government troops killed four suspect Islamic militants in Pattani Province on January 30, 2012.  Four soldiers were killed by suspected Islamic militants in Nararthiwat Province on March 7, 2012.  Ten individuals were killed in explosions in Yala Province on March 31, 2012.  Six individuals were killed in a bombing in Sai Buri District in Pattani Province on September 20, 2012.  More than 5,000 individuals, including more than 500 government soldiers and policemen, have been killed during the conflict.  Some 350,000 individuals have been displaced during the conflict.

[Sources: Associated Press (AP), October 26, 2004; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), April 28, 2004, December 24, 2004, March 27, 2005, April 3, 2005, July 15, 2005, July 19, 2005, August 25, 2005, September 23, 2005, October 13, 2005, October 27, 2005, November 2, 2005, November 3, 2005, November 16, 2005, February 27, 2006, March 16, 2006, August 2, 2006, August 7, 2006, August 31, 2006, September 16, 2006, September 17, 2006, October 22, 2006, January 14, 2007, March 14, 2007, March 18, 2007, May 9, 2007, June 1, 2007, June 15, 2007, December 4, 2007, January 14, 2008, April 24, 2008, November 4, 2008, April 29, 2009, June 8, 2009, June 13, 2009, June 27, 2009, August 23, 2009, October 27, 2009, July 2, 2010, January 20, 2011, January 25, 2011,  January 30, 2011, March 8, 2012, March 31, 2012, September 21, 2012; Degenhardt, 1988, 364-371; Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), June 20, 1980, October 9, 1981, September 2, 1993, September 16, 1993; Keesing’s Record of World Events, March 10, 1978, July 10, 1981, September 1986, September 1993, April 1997; New York Times (NYT), April 28, 2004, April 29, 2004; Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) press release, June 1, 2005; Reuters, April 8, 2001, January 3, 2004, June 19, 2004; Suhrke and Noble, 1977, 178-212; Washington Post, May 15, 2004, October 31, 2004.]

 

Selected Bibliography

Che Man, W. K. 1990. Muslim Separatism: The Moros of Southern Philippines and the Malays of Southern Thailand. Oxford
and New York: Oxford University Press.

Forbes, Andrew D. W. 1982. “Thailand’s Muslim Minorities: Assimilation, Secession, or Coexistence.” Asian Survey 22
(November): 1056-1073.

Haemindra, Nantawan. 1976. “The Problem of the Thai-Muslims in the Four Southern Provinces of Thailand (Part One).”
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 7 (September): 197-225.

Haemindra, Nantawan. 1977. “The Problem of the Thai-Muslims in the Four Southern Provinces of Thailand (Part Two).”
Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 8 (March): 85-105.

Islam, Syed Serajul. 1998. “The Islamic Independence Movements in Patani of Thailand and Mindanao of the Philippines.”
Asian Survey 38 (May): 441-456.

Jha, Ganganath. 1978. “Muslim Minorities in the Philippines and Thailand.” India Quarterly 34 (July-September): 328-346.

Suhrke, Astri. 1977. “Loyalists and Separatists: The Muslims in Southern Thailand.” Asian Survey 18 (March): 237-250.