This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 002603
DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV, INR. US PACOM FOR FPA (HUSO).
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2015 TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER TH SUBJECT: THAILAND: THREATENING LEAFLETS IN THE SOUTH
REF: BANGKOK 2351
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert J. Clarke. Reason 1.4(d)
1. (C) SUMMARY: During a March 28-29 visit by Poloff to the far southern province of Pattani, Vice Governor Chanvit Vasayangkura provided a collection of leaflets which had been dropped by extremists at different locations throughout the province over the past several months. The leaflets, letters, and drawings are full of threats, warnings and conspiracy. Most of the literature explicitly threatens local Thai Buddhists or warns local Muslims against working with authorities. The leaflets provide a troubling glimpse into a region that is full of fear and uncertainty. END SUMMARY
2. (C) On March 28-29 Poloff accompanied Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staffdel Januzzi on a visit to the far southern provinces of Narathiwat, Songkhla and Pattani (reftel). During the visit, Pattani Vice Governor Chanvit Vasayangkura provided Poloff with a package of threatening or manipulative leaflets which unknown extremists had dropped in various locations throughout the province over the past several months. The literature, mostly in the form of handwritten or computer generated leaflets, had been collected by provincial security forces.
THREATS AGAINST BUDDHISTS - "LEAVE OUR LAND"
3. (SBU) Several of the leaflets are direct threats against local Buddhists. A leaflet, apparently produced on a word processor, warns in Thai; "Hey, Thai Buddhist! If you continue to live on our land, we will hunt all of you down. Leave our land, otherwise, you will get nothing but bullets." Other handwritten notes warn in Thai that non-Muslims should "...take extra care of yourselves because death is approaching," while another scrawled note warns that a local school "will soon be torched."
WARNINGS TO MUSLIMS - "DO NOT COOPERATE WITH THE SIAMESE"
4. (SBU) Many of the propaganda documents are clearly attempts to intimidate local Muslims into not cooperating with government officials. A leaflet in Thai and the Malay "Yawi" dialect tells Muslims "not to go near (infidel) soldiers and police...or cooperate with them, otherwise, your safety will be at risk." Other leaflets warn Muslims they face death if they cooperate with "Siamese infidel soldiers, police, defense volunteers, schoolteachers, and government officials." Other leaflets warn informers cooperating with Thai security forces that "your life and property will be in danger." A handwritten letter from a group calling itself the "Mujahidin Islam Pattani" says that as part of their struggle "against the old Buddhist enemy" they will kill Muslims who are informers or who work as village or district chiefs.
SPREADING A SEPARATIST MESSAGE
6. (SBU) A number of the leaflets appear to be focused on encouraging separatist sympathies. A typewritten letter in Thai and Yawi from "Beryuwant" (warriors) urges Muslims to resign from their government jobs and join the separatist movement,saying: "Our land has long been under the Siamese rule. Now we have risen up to bring it back." Another urges Muslims to "join hands to drive (the Siamese) out of our land."
7. (C) COMMENT: The various leaflets found in Pattani need to be kept in context -- their obvious purpose is to manipulate and intimidate -- and it only takes a few people and minimal funding to produce the cheap handouts. That said, the leaflets do provide an interesting and troubling glimpse into the realities of life in southern Thailand. We have found from our regular visits to the region that many people in the far south do live in fear and suspicion of their neighbors or government officials. Secondly, Emboffs have heard numerous accounts of the growing tension between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in the south and seen indications of an ongoing exodus of non-Muslims from the region (reftel). The pamphleteers are obviously aware of these disturbing trends, and bent on encouraging them. END COMMENT BOYCE