Giles Ji Ungpakorn
The students and youth of Patani (PERMAS) have called for international action following yet another Thai State atrocity in Patani. One of the latest incidents occurred at Bun Nung Satar district of Yala province. Gunmen opened fire on a 6 year old boy and a 32 year old man on 17th April. The man, Muktha Alimama, was a community leader and was on a Thai State “wanted list”.
On 20th April gunmen opened fire on two women and a 2 year old baby girl, killing all three. In a separate incident a 63 year old man was shot dead. All three incidents occurred in the same area.
While the Thai mainstream media sought to portray the shooting of Muktha Alimama as a “business dispute”, thus diverting attention from the actions of the Thai State, PERMAS affirms that all local evidence does not support this theory.
PERMAS observes that since peace talks between the BRN separatist movement and the Thai State collapsed, the Thai State might be following a secret agenda of violence and intimidation against the local people.
Thai State violence, in pursuit of crushing hopes of self-determination for the people of Patani, is the terrible twin of Thai State violence against pro-democracy demonstrators. Both involve the military and are supported by the elites. The lack of justice in Patani is a mirror image of the lack of justice in the Thai justice system as a whole, including the use of the courts to stage judicial coups against democratically elected governments. This state of affairs is backed up by the extreme nationalist ideology of the ruling class which is enshrined in the constitution and the repressive lèse majesté law which protects the military and the elites.
There can be no progress in Thai democratic reform if the rights of the Patani people are constantly ignored.