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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BANGKOK2603
2005-04-12 11:17:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Bangkok
Cable title:  

THAILAND: THREATENING LEAFLETS IN THE SOUTH

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PTER  TH 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L BANGKOK 002603 

SIPDIS

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