The banners were apparently put up to mark the 62nd anniversary of Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), once an active umbrella group of insurgent cells in the deep South.
Banners reading “Free Patani. Patani is not Siam” were found in several spots in Yala. Malay-Muslim insurgents have been calling the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla the “Patani” state and have been demanding independence from Thailand.
The latest act of insurgency comes after a bomb attack in Yala’s Bannang Sata district on March 10 injured 10 rangers and civilians.
Yala police chief Pol Maj-General Tinnakorn Rungmat ordered police to join forces with troops and Interior Ministry officials to step up security after catching sight of the banners. on
Security has also been tightened in preparation for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit, who will arrive on the first flight to land at Betong International Airport in Yala on Monday.
Banners and spray-painted signs were found at several locations in Yala’s Muang and Bannang Sata districts on Sunday morning. For instance, a banner calling for independence was seen in front of a rock-grinding mill in Muang district’s tambon Lidol, and another large sign demanding the liberation of “Patani’ was found at the construction site of Yala’s city gate.
Meanwhile, Highway No 410 in Bannang Sata sported spray-painted signs saying the Patani United Liberation Organisation was responsible for violent attacks in the deep South.
In response, the police, military and Interior Ministry officials set up checkpoints on many roads in the two districts.
The Yala police chief ordered police to be on full alert at major checkpoints on the four main roads leading to downtown Yala.
The Patani Kingdom was invaded by Siam in 1786 and eventually completely absorbed by the country in 1902.
Published : March 13, 2022
By : THE NATION