Wednesday, November 4, 2009



Patani (in Malay, or Pattani, also sometimes Patani Raya, or "Greater Patani") is a term that has been used to describe a region in South Thailand consisting of the province of Pattani proper along with the neighbouring Yala Province (Jala), Narathiwat Province (Menara), parts of Songkhla (Singgora), and much of the northern part of modern Malaysia. Historically similar to many smaller Malay kingdoms such as Singgora (Songkhla) and Ligor (Nakhon Si Thammarat) and Lingga (near Surat Thani), they were first required to pay tribute then conquered by the Ayutthaya, as were non-Malay kingdoms like Lanna and Sukhothai. Pattani was not the last of these kingdoms to be subjugated and absorbed. A separatist movement has sought the establishment of a Malay and Islamic state, Patani Darussalam, encompassing these three provinces. This campaign has taken a violent turn in recent years, prompting a state of insurgency across South Thailand and the imposition of martial law.

Early history

The ancient Hindu Buddhists Malay Kingdom of Nakhon Pathom influenced in the area before the arrival of the first Thai nation-state, Sukothai founded in the early 13 century. The ancient cultures in this region had influenced and had been influenced each other that included the ancient Hindu Malay, the Khmer empire, ancient Siam and the entire Malay peninsula.

The Thai historian found that Sandal wood flower coins of Sri Vijaya which overwhelmingly Hindu and Buddhists were used from the 8th to 13th centuries.[1] while typical Malayo-Polynesian style cowrie shells were used until the reign of Rama IV.[1]
Main article: Patani kingdom

Some believe that Patani is the post 15th century rendition of Langkasuka, the oldest Malay Kingdom of the Malay Peninsula. Pattani was already a bustling entrepôt with diplomatic ties to China, Japan and Srivijaya at a time when Malacca was still an uninhabited jungle-clad estuary.[citation needed] Ironically, Pattani today lies under the jurisdiction of northern Malaysia and 3 south end province of Thailand, a sober reflection of the Kingdom of Siam and present-day Thailand.

According to many historical sources, the ancient Hindu-Malay empire of Langkasuka was centred in Pattani, today's southern Thailand, which encompasses of modern Malaysia states Kelantan, Terengganu and northern Kedah, as well as modern Thai provinces of Pattani (Patani in Malay), Yala (Jala), Narathiwat (Menara), Songkhla (Singora) and Satun (Setul).

While when exactly Pattani was Islamised is in debate; it was believe to be one of the earlier Malay kingdoms to adopt the Middle Eastern religion around mid-13th century. The kingdom adopted the name "Patani" under the rule of Sultan Ismail Shah. According to local folklore, he was finding a spot for the kingdom's new capital, and when he arrived to the place he liked best, he shouted “Pantai Ini!” which means in Malay, "This beach!"[2] According to most accounts, this capital is thought to be today's modern Kru Se (Kampung Grisek).

Some Muslim separatists assert that Pattani was one of the oldest kingdoms on the Malay peninsula, though evidence poor. Pattani was known to the Western world, in 1516 when Portuguese explorer Manuel Godinho de Erédia landed on its port. The fall of Malacca five years before that increased Pattani's popularity with Indian-Muslim traders; competing viciously with northern Sumatra kingdom of Aceh.

During the massive Burmese attack from the north against the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya, Pattani's Sultan Muzaffar Shah took his dirty advantage, by launched an attack on Ayutthaya in 1563. He however died mysteriously during battle.

Pattani's golden age was during the reign of its four successive queens from 1584, known as Raja Hijau (The Green Queen), Raja Biru (The Blue Queen), Raja Ungu (The Purple Queen) and Raja Kuning (The Yellow Queen), where the kingdom's economic and military strength was greatly increased to the point that it was able to fight off four major Siamese invasions with the help of the eastern Malay kingdom of Pahang and the southern Malay Sultanate of Johore.

Siamese Annexation

During the period of Siam's tributary state of Pattani's last queens in the 17th Century, the kingdom fell into disarray and went into gradual decline. After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, the Siamese king Taksin succeeded in driving the Burmese invaders from Siam. His successor, Rama I, established the Chakri Dynasty, which still rules Thailand today.

The Siamese still remember when Pattani's Sultan Muzaffar Shah took his advantage on Ayutthaya, by launched an attack on in 1563 and to prevent any more hitting from behind type of war, the Siamese sent the Prince Surasi, Rama I's younger brother and vice-king, invaded Pattani. Sultan Muhammad was killed in battle and his capital razed to the ground. The broken Seri Patani and Seri Negara cannon - were brought to Bangkok as a sign of unconditional surrender. (The Phaya Thani is on display today in front of the Ministry of Defence.)

In 1791 and 1808, there were rebellions within Pattani against Siamese rule, following which Pattani was divided into 7 largely autonomous states (Mueang) – Pattani, Nongchik, Saiburi (Teluban), Yala (Jala), Yaring (Jambu), Ra-ngae (Legeh) and Raman. All were ruled by the King of Ligor.After the British had taken a big part of southern Thailand in 1909, the Bangkok Treaty of 1909 was signed between Great Britain and Siam. The British recognised Siam sovereignty over Pattani, and in return Siam gave up her territory call Kelantan to the British.[3]

All seven mueang were reunited into a monthon and incorporated into the kingdom. Later, the central government in Bangkok renamed certain localities with Thai versions of their names and merged some of the mueang. When the monthon system was dissolved in 1933, three provinces remained - Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Greater Malay Patani State

On 8 December 1941, during the Second World War, the Japanese tried to invade Thailand and crossed Pattani to invade British Malaya. The Thai government later became a reluctant ally of Japan by the promise of helping Thailand take more than 50% of her territory back from the British and the French. Tengku Mahmud Mahyuddin, a prominent Pattani leader and the son of the last Raja of Pattani, allied himself with the British in the hopes that Pattani would be granted independence after an Allied victory. His main support came from ethnic Malays displeased by the nationalistic policies of the Phibun regime, which forced them to give up their own language and culture.

Mahyuddin assisted the British by launching a later fell guerrilla attacks against the Japanese. In 1945, a petition by Malay leaders led by Tengku Abdul Jalal demanded that Britain guarantee independence for the southernmost provinces of Thailand. At the war's end, the Greater Malay Pattani State (Negara Melayu Patani Raya) flag did fly briefly in Pattani. However, since the British had no power over Thailand, but some thing that they broke the promises and allowed continued Thai rule over Pattani, determined to keep Thailand stable as a counterweight to the communist insurgency then being fought in Malaya. This caused the formation of several insurgent groups seeking the independence of Pattani.

Resistance movements in Patani

During World War II, along with the Greater Patani Malay Movement led by Tengku Mahmud Mahyuddin, another resistance force under the leadership of Islamic scholar Haji Sulong Tokmina also fought against the Japanese. Their stated goal was to create an Islamic republic in Patani, which frequently put it at odds with Tengku Mahmud who wanted to reestablish the Pattanese Sultanate (being a prince himself).

Today, the goals and ideas of Haji Sulong Tokmina is still carried on by minor resistance groups interested in creating an Islamic republic. After the war though, hopes of any independent republic in Pattani was quickly dashed by the British and the Thais.

Current insurgency

Patani separatist groups, most notably the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO), began to use violent tactics in 2001. There have been suggestions of links between PULO and foreign Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah. A number of Pattani Muslims are reported to have received training at al-Qaida centres in Pakistan, and the Pattani insurgents have forged links with groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the Philippines and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) in Indonesia. Estimates of rebel strength vary widely from only 500 to more than 15,000 where the former figure may be looked at as being not realistic. Weekly reports throughout the recent years show an unpleasant activity by extremists and killings of soldiers, supposed rebels and civilians are quite common. Roadblocks everywhere across the 3 southernmost Thai provinces are a common sight. Armored military vehicles have vanished recently from the public eyes on the roads and within the cities and villages.


No comments:

Post a Comment