"BRN can sit on the table with the Thai because they completely control the South" - With Don Patan
For this podcast, Thailand is a brand-new argument. I have dealt extensively with Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and India, but today I am metaphorically traveling along the Mekong river, arriving in beautiful Thailand. With Don Patan, which is a security analyst based in Thailand, I have spoken about the Malay insurgency in the south.
I was interested to know about the peace talks between the BRN (Barisan Revolusi Nasional), which is the most important insurgent group in the Malay-speaking region, and the Thai Army. According to Don, the Barisan is not the only insurgent faction in the south, but it is the strongest because has real and huge grassroots support base within the Malay population and the madrasas. Furthermore, BRN has strong religious credentials, despite being clearly an ethnonationalist group. Other insurgent factions were cut loose when the funds from Arab states finished back in the 90es, and their leaders live in exile overseas. Don believes that Malay population agrees with the insurgents, but profoundly disagree with the brutality.