Lessons not learned: the rekindling of Thailand's Pattani problem
Pojar, Daniel J., Jr.
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This thesis explores the ongoing Malay-Muslim separatist insurgency in southern Thailand. In particular, it argues that historically-rooted structural factors, to include relative economic deprivation, limited political integration, and struggle for the maintenance of ethnic-religious identity, are at the root of this insurgency. The year 2001 produced two catalysts for the renewal of this insurgency, one internal and one external. The internal catalyst was a newly elected suppressive government regime under the leadership of Prime Minister Thaksin and the Thai Rak Thai Party. The external catalyst was the growing, increasingly radicalized Islamist movement, largely defined through terrorist violence, that expressed itself in the 9/11 attacks. The combination of these has produced rekindled secessionist violence of a previously unknown level in the Thai provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala. Given the deeply ingrained structural cause of this insurgency, as well as a government administration whose policies and conflict mismanagement continually fuels the violence, the prospect for conflict resolution is not promising. Nonetheless, it remains in the best interests of the United States that this conflict is soon resolved. Should the insurgency continue growing, the situation may reach a point of drastic consequences for Thailand as well as the United States.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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