Transformasi Isu dalam Penyelesaian Konflik Patani di Selatan Thailand (Transformation of Issue In Reconciling Pattani Conflict In Southern Thailand)

Che Mohd Aziz Yaacob, M0hammad Zaki Ahmad

Abstract


The struggle for independence in the Patani conflict remains ongoing until today. Incidents of shooting, bombing, school arsons, and guerrilla raids are still occurring on daily basis. The Thai government has been working to overcome this problem with various approaches and yet, it remains unresolved. Nonetheless, the reconciliation process between 2004 and 2015 had experienced discernible changes when the Patani Liberation Movement (GPP) and the Thai government were willing to negotiate and dialogue. Moreover, Malaysia is perceived to have successfully played its role as a facilitator in driving both parties to participate in the reconciliation process. This study examines research data which focused on the transformation of issue championed by the GPP from its previous demand for independence to the issue of identity of Malay Patani that has been awhile subjected to assimilation and discrimination. Identity issue (soft) has been the main factor behind the willingness of both parties to negotiate in comparison to the issue of claiming independence (hard). Qualitative-based data were analysed using theories and variables involving conflict triangle approach, symmetric and asymmetric relationships and conflict transformation. The findings of this study found that the unbalanced structure of relationships (asymmetric) is the cause behind the assimilation of the identity of Malay Muslim Patani (OMIP). This asymmetric relationship has led to a domination policy over OMIP by the Thai government which eventually triggered the rise of the GPP’s spirit to demand independence for the Patani. Nevertheless, in the years following the January 4, 2004 event, GPP has opted diplomatic approach when consigning the issue of identity as its main demand than its previous struggle for independence. Hence, the prioritization on the issue of identity is seen as one of the transformation process that unfolded within GPP that eventually resulted a series of dialogue and negotiation. Thus, the transformation of the issue of independence to identity is perceived as opening up the space for both parties to negotiate. Asymmetric conflict is difficult to resolve because the Thai government has a greater power than OMIP for which the latter is reluctant to negotiate.

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JEBAT : Malaysian Journal of History, Politics & Strategic Studies, 
Centre For Policy and Global Governance (GAP), 
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia.

eISSN: 2180-02551

ISSN: 012-5644