An example to emulate

In 1959, young anti-Spain nationalists broke with decades of peaceful resistance and formed a terrorist group. Their group, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Country and Freedom) is known as ETA. It has demanded separation and independence for regions sandwiched between northern Spain and southwestern France. In 2010 it renounced all violence and now has declared it will turn all weapons over to French and Spanish authorities on April 8.

The violent Basque war has much in common with Thailand's separatists, who refuse however to come to the same rational and peaceful conclusion. The Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (Patani Malay National Revolutionary Front) is known as the BRN, but more commonly separatists or "southern insurgents". It has demanded separation and independence for three provinces and part of a fourth in the deep South. It refuses to renounce violence, let alone surrender war weapons to either Thailand or Malaysia.

The low-level wars that these two pseudo-independence bodies conducted have been different. ETA opted for infrequent, flashy attacks inside Spain and France. The Thai separatists have kept their far more-frequent attacks almost exclusively within the southernmost provinces. ETA used car bombs and ambushes as their chief weapon, and their terrorism killed 829 people, most of them innocents. The Thai separatists have employed terrorism and paramilitary attacks far more frequently, and their toll is nearly 7,000, mostly civilians and bystanders.

The content shown above is only a small part of the full content, which we reserve for Bangkok Post digital archive subscription members. Please log in or subscribe to get the full content.


Back to top
Switch colour tone