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Strong-handed approach not working in the South


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Strong-handed approach not working in the South

By DON PATHAN 
SPECIAL TO THE NATION

 

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IN AN attempt to calm fears about the security situation in the deep South, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha issued a statement yesterday urging the public not to lose faith in his government’s efforts to bring an end to the conflict in this historically contested region.

 

The people behind the deadly attack on a temple in Narathiwat province last week wanted to provoke the forces into launching a forceful crackdown and in the process draw international attention to the situation in the South, Prayut said.

 

“Those who were behind the attack in Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district on January 19 intended to destroy the morale, spirit as well as the patience of Thailand in using peaceful methods to solve the ongoing conflict and violence in the South,” he said in the statement.

 

His security tsar, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, urged security officials on the ground to exercise utmost restraint, to desist from any revenge motives, and to take recourse to the country’s justice system.

 

Analysts said there was nothing new in the government’s reaction. Prayut sounded very much like a broken record when he accused the separatist militants of trying to provoke a nasty retaliation by the security forces, of killing monks in order to discredit Thailand’s “peaceful approach” to the conflict, and of using violence to attract international attention.

 

Judging from the tone and content of his statement, it is clear that Prayut is worried about his legacy. He has been in power since the military coup in May 2014 and there is hardly anything that he and his government can point to in terms of success or progress in the deep South. The government spent the past three years barking up the wrong tree, talking to MARA Patani – which has no control over the insurgents on the ground – about a quirky Safety Zone Project.

 

Thai negotiators were led to believe by the previous Malaysian government – the official facilitator of the talks with MARA Patani – that a breakthrough was round the corner and that the separatist Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) would come to the table for face-to-face talks with the Thai negotiator, respect the Safety Zone and observe the ceasefire. None of that was true.

 

When a new government came to power in May last year in Kuala Lumpur, led by veteran Mahathir Mohamad, it adopted an all-or-nothing approach with the BRN leaders – come to the table to negotiate with the Thais or face unspecified consequences. The BRN leaders decided to go into hiding, sources said. 

 

The problem with this strong-handed approach was that the BRN leaders and its political wing did not have a chance to prepare for the peace process, they said.

 

The authorities in Bangkok knew that the peace process was uncharted territory for BRN leaders. 

 

They did not want the international community to work with the movement to prepare them for possible talks. 

 

Today, that zero-sum game approach is returning to haunt the authorities.

 

Peace negotiations may be a no-go area for the BRN, but it does not mean that they will not come to the table someday. But the process, which can lead to that day, is yet to start.

 

The ongoing pressure on these leaders, coupled with the killings of imams in recent months, as well as allegations of torture in detention centres, have resulted in nasty retaliation from the militants on the ground.

 

Prayut should have thought about his legacy four years ago, when he decided to continue with the peace initiative that was started by the government he ousted.

 

Pressuring the BRN leaders to come to the table so that Bangkok can claim some sort of a breakthrough will only invite more retaliation on the ground.

 

Moreover, his defence planners should have seen the writing on the wall after the targeted killings of three imams in recent months. There is an unwritten rule that Muslim and Buddhist religious leaders and children should be free from harm. The past decade, unfortunately, has seen bloody retaliations whenever this ground rule has been violated.

 

The BRN militants look at their leaders as spiritual figures. And when these “spiritual leaders” get targeted, they stoop to a no-holds-barred approach. The past 15 years is a testimony of this sad reality. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30362692

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-01-22
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 This sorry old song and dance has been going on for too long. It might sound draconian, but there are 2 choices here. Either forcibly close all mosques and sites of islamic significance, deport all foreign clergy, stop foreign funds incoming to the southern 3 provinces and intern all citizens that value islam above "Thainess" being one option. It is a slow play, hoping that without evil influence, basic human decency will return. The other is just to surrender and give the islamists the 3 provinces and build a huge wall to contain them.

 After viewing hundreds of crime scene pics from down there including decapitated school children, I would favor the 2nd option. 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

urging the public not to lose faith in his government’s efforts to bring an end to the conflict

which is it ? either this govt has no real interest in exerting the effort to make this happen Or they are radically inept 

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1 hour ago, TopDeadSenter said:

 This sorry old song and dance has been going on for too long. It might sound draconian, but there are 2 choices here. Either forcibly close all mosques and sites of islamic significance, deport all foreign clergy, stop foreign funds incoming to the southern 3 provinces and intern all citizens that value islam above "Thainess" being one option. It is a slow play, hoping that without evil influence, basic human decency will return. The other is just to surrender and give the islamists the 3 provinces and build a huge wall to contain them.

 After viewing hundreds of crime scene pics from down there including decapitated school children, I would favor the 2nd option. 

There is no easy answer to the creeping cancer of medieval Islam upon the world, it is either react aggressively and purge  Islam from  society or meekly surrender . Option 2 with the rider that all followers of Islam be transported to the three provinces, so ridding the rest of Thailand from the creeping cancer, would be the more humane method. But that is only a short term answer. There are two long term answers, force Islam to change it's doctrine of theological and physical dominance and encourage peaceful integrated co-existence with the rest of humanity or destroy it totally by cutting off the head of the snake and allowing the body to redevelop as it wishes by choice, not being forced to follow a barbaric medieval doctrine that is imposed at birth.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Prayut should have thought about his legacy four years ago, when he decided to continue with the peace initiative that was started by the government he ousted.

He does not have much in the ways of thoughts or ideas.  He just reacts. 

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Strong-handed approach not working in the South

Name me an example of a strong-handed approach - from a week-minded power - ever being successful. To assume that 'the enemy' don't know any better pretty well defines the junta gymkhana's level of thinking or strategic planning.

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More of the same strong handed approach and hoping to get a different result. Time for the South people to decide in a referendum for a limited but real autonomy like the Philippine with Mindanao or Indonesia with Aceh. The government must realized by now that the deep south provinces are different in so many ways and decisions can't be made by the central government thousand miles away.   

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4 hours ago, TopDeadSenter said:

The other is just to surrender and give the islamists the 3 provinces

 

4 hours ago, TopDeadSenter said:

I would favor the 2nd option

Proving that even with the Ridiculousness there can be a reasonable solution.

Let the Malay Muslims in the southern provinces RECLAIM their sovereignty, their Islamic culture and traditions.

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6 hours ago, webfact said:

Prayut should have thought about his legacy four years ago, when he decided to continue with the peace initiative that was started by the government he ousted.

General Prayut should have thought about military legacy five years ago when he decided to disrupt the peace initiative that was started by the Yingluck government in 2013 with discussions on semi-autonomy.

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35 minutes ago, Srikcir said:

 

Proving that even with the Ridiculousness there can be a reasonable solution.

Let the Malay Muslims in the southern provinces RECLAIM their sovereignty, their Islamic culture and traditions.

 

For what my opinion is worth, I agree. Allow the provinces that were annexed to be returned. History shows that insurgencies like this one will not be defeated and recent Thai history shows that even when Chanocha promises to resolve the insurgency in 12 months (as he did), he will not be able to. This guy is a wrecking ball and either will not or can not prevail, despite the bluster and arrogance.

 

I would vote for letting it go and taking it on the chin. Bigger worldwide personages than Chanocha have failed in situations like this, indeed, even with the CIA in Central America, I cannot recall a single insurgency that has been defeated (though I am no expert). Besides, it seems to me that there is evidence to show that whenever the USA gets involved, there is chaos and the USA generally gets defeated and ends up looking foolish with a black eye that they then try to pretend is a winners trophy).

 

Personally I think anyone with religious devotion (which is often used merely as a facade or respectability and relies on large numbers of not-very-bright drones) is a few sandwiches short of a full picnic, but that's my personal view. The fact remains that so-called 'jihadists'(which these guys are) will just keep going, such is the pull of religion on weak minds. Chanocha cannot win and I'll bet, he's eating his bravado words as we speak, because even he, with a sub-par intellect, will understand he is being made to look foolish by a bunch of radicalised enthusiasts looking for something to bring meaning to their lives.

 

Hey ho. Chanocha has bigger fish to fry, the major one of which is staying out of prison or avoiding a firing squad in the next few years.

 

 

 

 

 

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Build more infrastructures in the deep south, encourage more Thai Buddhists to live in the south.

Kill them Muslims with kindness and absolve them through intermarriage. 

Give incentives for peaceful Muslims to work and live in central and north Thailand.

Introduce Muslim girls to high paid Pattaya jobs.  

 

Use lots of carrot and lots of sticks.   

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14 hours ago, Johnnyngai said:

Build more infrastructures in the deep south, encourage more Thai Buddhists to live in the south.

Kill them Muslims with kindness and absolve them through intermarriage. 

Give incentives for peaceful Muslims to work and live in central and north Thailand.

Introduce Muslim girls to high paid Pattaya jobs.  

 

Use lots of carrot and lots of sticks.   

You cannot change a people who reinforce their brainwashing 5 times a day. imo

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20 hours ago, TopDeadSenter said:

 This sorry old song and dance has been going on for too long. It might sound draconian, but there are 2 choices here. Either forcibly close all mosques and sites of islamic significance, deport all foreign clergy, stop foreign funds incoming to the southern 3 provinces and intern all citizens that value islam above "Thainess" being one option. It is a slow play, hoping that without evil influence, basic human decency will return. The other is just to surrender and give the islamists the 3 provinces and build a huge wall to contain them.

 After viewing hundreds of crime scene pics from down there including decapitated school children, I would favor the 2nd option. 

Option 2 would make sense, but first, the invoice for their expropriation of the land should be presented and payback terms.

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3 hours ago, Johnnyngai said:

Build more infrastructures in the deep south, encourage more Thai Buddhists to live in the south.

Kill them Muslims with kindness and absolve them through intermarriage. 

Give incentives for peaceful Muslims to work and live in central and north Thailand.

Introduce Muslim girls to high paid Pattaya jobs.  

 

Use lots of carrot and lots of sticks.   

 

Worth a try but I don't thin it would work. The fiction of 72 virgins for martyrs of Islam will prove a powerul lock on the minds of post-pubescent males. The second lock is the feeling of belonging.The Imams know about both but they either have positions to uphold  or are as stupid as he choir they preach to.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, HalfLight said:

 

Worth a try but I don't thin it would work. The fiction of 72 virgins for martyrs of Islam will prove a powerul lock on the minds of post-pubescent males. The second lock is the feeling of belonging.The Imams know about both but they either have positions to uphold  or are as stupid as he choir they preach to.

 

 

 

The Malay muslim are different from the Arab muslim in their struggles. I think the Southern malay muslim or the Pattani malay struggle for the recognition in their culture and linguistic identities and to have some autonomy. They also want to share prosperity with Bangkok and sufficient efforts to develop and provide jobs. There are many graduates who have no opportunities for work and have to move to Bangkok seeking employment. Economic disparities are undeniable causes of young malay muslims to abet in violence.    

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

The Malay muslim are different from the Arab muslim in their struggles. I think the Southern malay muslim or the Pattani malay struggle for the recognition in their culture and linguistic identities and to have some autonomy. They also want to share prosperity with Bangkok and sufficient efforts to develop and provide jobs. There are many graduates who have no opportunities for work and have to move to Bangkok seeking employment. Economic disparities are undeniable causes of young malay muslims to abet in violence.   

 

Why do you think that the insurgents have not taken their anger and resentment to Bangkok?

 

 

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If you give into Islam and give the south autonomy then sensing weakness they will agitate for full independence and eventually merger with Malaysia.  Then they will migrate up Thailand to the next province and with their higher birth rate start all over again.

 

Why is it that Islam always wants to go back just far enough to when they ruled the area.  Perhaps we should go back  more years than that and demand Constantinople (Istanbul)  back?

 

Never ever forget that the word Islam does NOT mean peace, as they will tell you.  It means submission, submission to the will of their god as determined by  men with a mind set 1400 years old.

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2 hours ago, HalfLight said:

Why do you think that the insurgents have not taken their anger and resentment to Bangkok?

 

 

IMO the insurgents are not united as 1 big force but small units lacking resources, manpower and finance which limit their activities. Moreover they don’t have much sympathizers in Bangkok to coordinate large scale attacks. It will be hard to move out of their provinces with so many military check points and most of the insurgents will likely to be identified and in the black list. 

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18 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

IMO the insurgents are not united as 1 big force but small units lacking resources, manpower and finance which limit their activities. Moreover they don’t have much sympathizers in Bangkok to coordinate large scale attacks. It will be hard to move out of their provinces with so many military check points and most of the insurgents will likely to be identified and in the black list. 

 

I see. Okay, that makes sense. Thanks. Perhaps the army needs to pray they never decide to move to BKK, it would be a major smart move if they can overcome the factors you mention.

 

 

 

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