Thailand: The story after the Peace Deal
30 Apr, 2013 · 3904
Aparupa Bhattacherjee discusses the reasons behind the criticism and seeming failure of the peace deal
Aparupa BhattacherjeeResearch Officer
The bombings in Narathiwat and Yala in Southern Thailand, immediately after the Peace deal was signed, have raised a pertinent question on how successful the peace deal will be in its further negotiation. The historic peace deal was signed between the Thai government and Insurgent groups in order to facilitate further negotiations for building peace in the Patani region of Thailand. Immediately after the deal was signed, it faced criticism from many experts and stakeholders.
What are the grounds on the basis of which the peace deal has been criticised? Why does the peace deal seem to be a failure; is it because of the series of blasts or because of the culture of mistrust?
The avenues of criticism of the peace deal
This criticism extends to the insurgent groups and the representatives involved which raises the question of reliability of talk involving these groups. The insurgents were represented by the two prominent groups Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Koordinasi (BRN-C) and Pattani United Liberation Organisation (PULO), whose most of the members are either in exile or are based overseas. Moreover, BRN-C has also been involved in other unsuccessful peace talks initiated earlier. Additionally the involvement of Hasan Taib as the ‘leader’ of BRN-C has come under the lens of scrutiny. The relatively benign status of Hasan Taib has been demonstrated by his previous relationship with the government where his role has not been clearly defined and the outcomes have not been successful. Uncertainty over whether his role is pivotal with respect to his influence on the insurgent situation compounds mistrust over the parties negotiating. Moreover Taib Hasan does not have much to offer except for the promise that he will talk to the inner circle BRN-C and persuade them to join the talk.
The demands of the insurgents
The factors that might lead to failure
Initiatives have been pursued by other countries such as Europe, Indonesia, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. In fact, Malaysia under the guidance of the former Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad, held a dialogue to initiate the peace process. But, unfortunately, no result was drawn out of it. Although there are greater expectations pinned to this recent deal, the question that arises is: is this peace deal heading towards the same mistakes that resulted in the failure of the other deals?
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