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Pattani United Liberation Organization (Thailand)


Last modified: 2005-07-16 by eugene ipavec
Keywords: politics | pattani | pattani united liberation organization | pulo | crescent: points to fly (yellow) | star (yellow) |
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[Pattani United Liberation Organization (Thailand)]
by António Martins

See also:


A paper by Shawn W. Crispin, originally published in Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong-Kong, and translated in Courrier International no. 574, 31 October 2001, gives an update of the situation in Southern Thailand. Until recently, the official doctrine of the Thai government was to establish a Buddhist nation, and Islamic traditions were repressed in the extreme South of the country, where Muslims are the majority (even if they represent only 4% of the total population of Thailand). Consequently, the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) has been fighting for years for the proclamation of an independent Muslim state, causing the militarization of the area.

In 1997, a new Constitution conferred political and religious rights to the Muslims, and the liberation movements more or less extincted. There seems to be now no more than 50 separatists still fighting in the mountains. Violent events which recently took place in the area seem to have been caused by rivalry between factions of the local police rather than by Muslim separatists. Several Muslims, who had been accusated to have burned down 37 schools in the area in the mid-90's were acquited because of lack of evidence against them, and the role of the local police in these events has also been questioned.

Ivan Sache, 17 November 2001


I read that the flag attributed to the Pattani United Liberation Movement is blue with two red stripes in the top and bottom. In the upper red strip, near the hoist, is a yellow five-pointed star; in the center of the blue is a half-moon and a star or sun of 15 points (similar to Malaysia) — symbolising the movement's demand for the separation of Pattani from Thailand and its union with Malaysia. The Pattani state had a flag after [sic — "before"?] its annexation by Thailand — can anyone describe it?

Jaume Ollé, 6 November 1996

The Pattani flag can be seen at the Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO) website.

Wisarut Bholsithi, 29 October 1999

Considering that the Pattani United Liberation Organization wants to dettach the Pattani inhabited area from Thailand to Malaysia, and that the current Thai province named Pattani does not border Malaysia — am I right assuming that the territory claimed by PULO covers also the Nara Thiwat province, and possibly Ya La and Song Khla provinces too?

António Martins, 20 March 2000

As António Martins suggests, the Greater Patani State would encompass the present day provinces of Pattani, Nara Thiwat, Ya La, Song Khla and also Satun.

Chris Kretowicz, 3 April 2001

Greater Patani State

Negara Patani Raya

[Greater Patani State (Thailand)] 3:5
from the Patani National Youth Movement website, modified by Santiago Dotor

Patani was an ancient and independent Malay state before it was conquered by Thais in 1795-96. Originally, Thais divided Patani into seven sultanates with some measure of local autonomy before final annexation in 1902. During the Second World War, while Thailand was siding with Japan, and Japanese troops present in Malaya and Southern Thailand, one of the Patani princes, Tun Mahmud Mahyuddin, was collaborating militarily with the British and was promised the restoration of Patani independence after allied victory. That promise given to the Greater Patani Malays' Movement was never kept and Thai presence was reestablished giving cause to numerous liberation movements in the area. The flag flown in this period of history was the national flag of the Negara Patani Raya or Greater Patani State.

Chris Kretowicz, 3 April 2001

I checked the PULO website and a link at the bottom took me to the webpage of the Patani National Youth Movement where I found the same flag.

Santiago Dotor, 29 June 2001

It may be flown by the PULO Youth Movement, but it is a national flag selected for the re-establishment of the independent Patani state, namely Greater Malay Patani State or Negara Melayu Patani Raya. It differentiates from the flag of PULO, which is a political and guerrilla organization fighting for separation from Thailand on historical and religious grounds.

Chris Kretowicz, 29 June 2001

The flag was approved by the representatives of just about all national movements during the meeting of Patani Liberation Organizations held 4th-5th July 1995 at Tasik Titiwangsa Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur in presence of Special Branch officers of the Government of Malaysia. The Malaysian-sponsored meeting was trying to find peaceful ways of resolution of conflicts with Thailand and to build a unified Patani front to deal with the Government of Thailand. All participants agreed on the common, national flag of their homeland, irrespective of vast differences dividing them on other issues. That meeting was attended by leaders and representatives of PULO, BRN, BNPP, Mujahiddin, Clerics Council etc. and presided by a representative of the Malaysian government.

Chris Kretowicz, 30 June 2001

Islamic Republic of Patani

[Islamic Republic of Patani (Thailand)] 6:11?
by António Martins

Clive Jackson's flagchart, Flags of Non-Independent Peoples, shows a Pattani flag with two equal horizontal bands of red over white. Over this in the hoist is a green band one third of the flag's length and superimposed on this green stripe is a white crescent and white five-pointed star.

Paul B. Lindsay, 8 November 1996

At the same time [Second World War], another guerrilla force under the leadership of Islamic scholar Haji Sulong Tokmina fought both Japanese and Thais with the aim of establishing an Islamic Republic of Patani. Their flag was most likely the one reported by Clive Jackson (Flags of Non-Independent Peoples) and The Flag Bulletin as the flag of the Islamic Republic of Patani.

Chris Kretowicz, 3 April 2001

This flag, with a green stripe at the hoist and a fly consisting of two horizontal stripes, red over white, suggests a crossing between the Indonesian flag with an all-purpose islamic motif. I chosen the specs suggested by the original image, which do not yield simple numbers in terms of ratio and proportions.

António Martins, 31 October 2001

Pattani Empire

Flag of former Pattani Empire, Thailand with the caption: FLAG OF PATANI - FLAG OF PATANI EMPIRE BEFORE IT WAS CONQUERED BY THE INVADING THAI ARMIES IN 1785. Apparently, they are fighting for an independent state or integration into the Malaysian Federation but Malaysia is not claiming the land from Thailand.

Nagathisen Katahenggam, 8 September 2002