Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) is at it again. The Pattani-Melayu elitist militant leadership made more demands on YouTube in relation to Ramadan, the holy month in the Muslim calendar.
Chief BRN representative, Hassan Taib, offers to stop all militant violence in the Thai provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala during Ramadan only if the Thai government agrees to their conditions:
- The complete withdrawal of all troops and security personnel in the ThaiSouth.
- Relieving all Muslim police personnel from their duty for the duration of Ramadan so they could spend time with their families.
- The authorities will not conduct any raids, security operations and arrests of any militant.
- The Thai government will not conduct any community-based programs related to Ramadan and Islam.
- That all agreements must be signed by the Thai prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, followed by a public declaration.
- There should not be any sale or consumption of alcohol, and the closure of all entertainment spots and social establishment.
The BRN leadership sends an unnerving reminder to all, that if their demands are not met, that the peace process will not take place.
The Thai government’s response to the conditioned truce for the month of Ramadan was expected. Deputy Prime Minister, Chalerm Yubamrung rejected them.
The BRN had the right to make demands, but whether or not to comply with them rests with the Thai government.
He also said, that most local people in the three southernmost provinces also disagreed with such demands.
His views were well accepted by my friends in the ThaiSouth provinces and those working in Bangkok. The erratic violent behavior of the militant groups has already left thousands dead, maimed and missing in the conflict zones. Civilians, particularly children, are not exempted from the shooting, bombing, beheading and torture. Naturally it is impossible for the security forces to withdraw just to meet the whims of political power-play of Melayu ultra nationalists.
BRN, similar to many offshoots of militancy within the troubled provinces, is not interested in the peace process which is presently being facilitated by the government of Malaysia. The BRN negotiating delegation has left Malaysia in the ditch with its ASEAN neighbor, Thailand.
In June, Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, said about minority Muslims in Southeast Asia:
They must forget the idea of an independent Muslim state as it is not realistic. There should be meaningful autonomy, not independence.
Muslims must also understand their responsibilities towards non-Muslims. There must be a peaceful coalition as this will bring about socio-economic development.
Be as it may, the ‘wisdom’ of leaders are nothing without the consensuses of the affected people, those living in daily hardship, stricken by the misery of the nightly slaughter. The compliance to the demands would merely reaffirm the ultra nationalists designs of the Pattani-Melayu elites and society will sink further into the madness of obedience that BRN desperately seeks.