PULO Barking for Legitimacy, Fearful of Being Neglected

I read with great interest and partial amusement the declaration by the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO), that was posted on their website.

It states:
"We hope that Malaysia is sincere..."
Quite amusing as Malaysian government and a largely sympathetic Melayu community have often shown blatant or quiet support for the indiscriminate attempts by ThaiSouth militants to "liberate" Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat from the clutches of the infidel Thai Buddhists. Kafir (a person who is not a Muslim) ranks off the grid when it comes to inhabiting, or governing Melayu-owned land. Such sentiments are not based on Islamic values, but more of a prejudice-laced ethno-economical stereotyping by nationalists, fascists and ultra-racists.

There are far too many rumors and facts about the power influence of the Thai army in the ThaiSouth. One can easily absorb the information from the internet, or engage in a discussion with political scientists, security experts and even the man who walks down the street. Yet I believe the Thai government have set the ball-rolling on peace initiatives, and the need for social development to roll into the three Thai provinces. It may not satisfy the demands of wandering tourists, expatriates and some Thai politicians, but surely people are aware that random orgy of violence has been prevalent in the south for quite some time.

PULO also said that they want the Thai government to...
The moment civilians, both Muslims and Buddhists, are made "legitimate" targets by PULO in the past, then the organization has lost its moral standing. How can Jihad be true Jihad when people drink the success of their fights from the bloodied, blasted or beheaded body of the innocent? An ethnic cleansing campaign is genocide, and thus PULO is in no position to demand anything of anyone.

However I am curious on whether the Thai government would consider empowering a group of people, consisting of the Muslim/Buddhist community leadership, government, military and civil society to be involved in future dialogues with militant groups that seeks peace.


As the days go by, regardless where I am in this part of the region, I constantly think about the fragile state of affairs in the ThaiSouth. I am disgusted that some elements in my country believes in the fermentation of violence against civilians as a duty-bound act, as those in Thailand. I have seen enough societal marginalization to last me two lifetimes, often I was caught in the bottom of the cesspool. People often cook the innocents over the grill and display a pleasurable sigh when inhaling the fumes of prejudice.

We can build peace through sincerity and compassion, and not by creating a society over a mountain of skulls.

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