The Bangkok Turmoil Viewed from Southern Thailand (Patani)

by Dr Dennis Walker, PSI Monash University.

I am in Southern Thailand.  The Muslim shop-keeper class, and their customers, are viewing the turmoil in Bangkok with great interest live from the Bangkok TV stations.
The chaos and disorientation of "the Siam infidels" is very encouraging to the Patani Malay nationalists.  One of their slogans is "Thailand akan di-hanchurkan dan Patani akan Merdeka" (Thailand will destroy itself and Patani will become independent).
However, the majority of conscious Muslims here seem to believe that the Thai polity will survive the crisis, drawn-out though it has been, but hope that the Thai system's weakening might one day make it present for serious negotiations for the autonomy solution.   The Muslims of Southern Thailand want provincial devolution and Arabic-script Malay to be made a medium of governmental administration.



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