Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO)

Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO)
The Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) is synonymous with the Thai separatist movement and is the largest and most active. PULO was set up by Tuanku Biyo Kodoniyo on 22 March 1968.

The PULO is a popular organization formed to represent the Malay people of the southern predominantly Malay provinces formerly known as the Malay kingdom of Pattani, fighting against Thai colonialism. It considers Thai constitution illegitimate in the area and its members are not under Thai jurisdiction. Therefore, if Thai justice system practices such inhumane activity, then PULO reserves the right to react accordingly. The Islamic state proposed by PULO would cover the areas they say were historically ruled by the Sultanate of Pattani – consisting of Pattani, Yala, Songkhla and Satun provinces in present-day Thailand.

The conflict in Southern Thailand has roots in Thailand’s 1902 annexation of the Malay Kingdom of Pattani which comprised the current southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Songkhla. The People of this territory have a long history of independence, and are ethnically and culturally distinct from the majority of Thais. The large majority of people in the three southern Thailand are ethnic Malay, who speak Jawi, and are predominantly Muslim (80%), making the region distinct from a majority Buddhist, Thai speaking country.

Their grievances stem from a number of related historical and contemporary developments. First, a majority of the population has never accepted the loss of independence. Second, repeated attempts by various Thai governments to assimilate the local population, by repressing the local culture, language and religion in favor of the majority Thai culture. Third, most of the local population believes the region has historically been neglected by successive Thai governments, causing its underdevelopment and levels of poverty higher than in the rest of Thailand.
Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO)
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