PerMAS lodged a formal appeal to the Malaysian embassy in Bangkok yesterday. The Federation of Patani Students and Youth (Persekutuan Mahasiswa Anak Muda dan Siswa Patani) is seeking for the government of Malaysia to intervene in stopping the rights abuses in Thailand.
According to PerMAS, they are apprehensive on human rights violations and the situation in south Thailand, also known as “ThaiSouth“. After the military-controlled regime removed martial law, Patani students have been targeted in numerous crackdowns, sparking outrage among the population of the Muslim-majority south provinces.
“Human rights violation are increasing in the area, especially the threat (to) the students’ movement and social activists.”
Arfan Wattana, the advocacy director of PerMAS, gave the letter to a representative of the embassy and asked the government of Malaysia to investigate the crackdowns. The group is deep-rooted in the population, and advocates for peace and self-determination in the conflict-torn provinces. According to PerMAS, the Thai junta had arrested university students and young people on the alleged connection with the car bombing in Yala province.
CULTURE OF PERSECUTION
The authorities had also searched PerMAS office, seized communication equipments and documents of student activities. During the detention, fifty students were forced to give DNA samples and were denied access to their rights. In response to the mass detention, several Patani rallies were held to demand the release of the students.
Young people have dreams of peace, and they want to participate fully in the lives of their society in order to achieve the goal. The ongoing persecutions prevent them from being part of socio-economic change, and are counter-productive in building trust to say the very least.
Rather than encourage the conditions that empower their ideals, energy and vision, the junta has created an environment of political absurdity and endless self-contradiction.