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May 27 2007

Thai Government Monitoring Exiled Rebels in Sweden

The Thai Foreign Ministry has been closely monitoring the movements of Thais allegedly involved in Thailand’s southern unrest in Europe, particularly in Sweden, ministry spokesman Tharit Chalungvat was quoted by local media as saying on 23 May 2007. The spokesman said that Thai embassies in Europe have consistently reported about the movements of the suspected insurgents to Thai security agencies, according to a report by Thai news network The Nation.

Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, chairman of Thailand’s Council for National Security, on 22 May 2007, instructed the Foreign Ministry seek information about Thai nationals who are living in Sweden or neighboring countries. This was followed by a press release by Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tharit Chalungvat, who stated that Thailand’s security agencies have been following the movements of suspected Thai insurgents who are now living in Sweden. Reports were made that some of the insurgents may have previously organized cells in Malaysia but later were expelled from the country.








Tharit Chalungvat stated “The groups we have followed and reported back to Bangkok include both the older generation of separatists such as members of the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO) and the new generation,”

Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO)

The Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) is synonymous with the Thai separatist terrorist movement and is the largest and most active. However, at its peak it had no more than 300 “soldiers.” PULO was set up by Tuanku Biyo Kodoniyo on 22 March 1968, who has been serving as its chairman ever since. By late 1992, the organization had split into two factions. The first faction was headed by Dr. A-rong Muleng while the second one was lead by Hayihadi Mindosali. The first faction set up the PULO Leadership Council with a symbol of a dagger crossing with a sword as its logo. The name of its armed unit is called “Caddan Army.” The second faction, also headed by Hajji Sama-ae Thanam, has set up the PULO Army Command Council or MPTP [expansion unknown] to give support to Tuanku Abdul Kade, the founder of the terrorist movement. The logo of the movement is an eagle and the name of its army is Abudaban.

In 1995, rifts emerged among the core leaders of the new PULO movement. As a result, Dr. A-rong Muleng decided to split his group from the movement to set up a new organization called “PULO 88” or the Abu Jihad PULO while the other group led by Hajji Habeng Abdul Rohman named its armed unit as “Caddan Army.” In the meantime, the old PULO still retains its status quo with Tuanku Biyo Kodoniyo as leader. After some leaders of the old and new PULO movements were arrested in early 1998, confusion immediately occurred within this organization. As a result, morale became very low and some of its members, who lost faith in the group, gave themselves up to the Thai Government. However, the two factions have tried to patch up their differences and to strengthen mutual cooperation. At present, it is reported that the two factions have dispatched their armed units to carry out joint military and political operations in some areas of three southern border provinces. Command headquarters of the two factions are located in Malaysia.

The PULO is a popular organization formed to represent the Malay people of the southern predominantly Malay provinces formerly known as the Malay kingdom of Patani, fighting against Thai colonialism. It considers Thai constitution illegitimate in the area and its members are not under Thai jurisdiction. Therefore, if Thai justice system practices such inhumane activity, then PULO reserves the right to react accordingly.

See Also Thailand Islamic Insurgency

Tharit Chalungvat stated further that Foreign Minister Nitya Pibulsonggram would meet his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt to discuss the matter on the sideline of the Asia Europe Meeting in Hamburg, Germany. That is this week. We here at Swenglish Rantings Radio will be following the story.


The Thai Foreign Minister speculated that Stockholm would likely provide cooperation to monitor the movements of Thai rebels, Tharit noted that “such cooperation would be under legal restriction to protect their (the alleged insurgents’) freedom of movement in accordance with Swedish laws.”

These Swedish privacy Laws are also EU Laws, the same ones that caused difficulties with Air Travel to the United States after stepped up security measures were enacted after the Terrorist Attacks on 9-11.


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