KUALA LUMPUR — National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabutr claimed a breakthrough today in the Deep South crisis, securing a promise from a major insurgent group to make actual, tangible demands by 2017.
In a high-level meeting hosted by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, members of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, or BRN, made commitments to try and organize the 240 known insurgent groups operating in Thailand’s southern provinces into a comprehensible rebellion that actually wanted something.
“The roadmap to peace has begun,” declared Paradorn at a press conference following the landmark meeting. “Or, at least, a roadmap to more coherent violence.”
The secretary-general told reporters that he had received a personal promise from BRN leaders that within four years, every burned-down school and blown-up market would be followed up by someone claiming responsibility and explaining just why they actually did it.
“We envision a bright future where every act of domestic terrorism fits into a nice, media-friendly narrative about separatists wanting something and negotiating for it with blood,” explained Paradorn. “No longer will the Thai people have to suffer the specter of social unrest that lacks a black-and-white, easily reduced storyline.”
Under the agreement, the BRN promised to organize the various insurgent groups into a single entity with a three-letter acronym and a catchy slogan, and to set up a PR department to issue soundbite-friendly statements that could be posted on YouTube.
Additionally, the insurgents agreed to make broad statements about liberation and religious freedom at least twice a month, and to collaborate with the Thai government on clear and divisive messages that would stereotype them as Muslims, anti-Thai, and foreign-backed.
In exchange for these and other concessions, the government agreed to continue its policies of misunderstanding and ignoring the complexities of southern politics, and marginalizing Muslims in Thai society to continue driving them towards insurgency.
The Thai Journalists Association applauded the agreement, citing it as “long overdue”. A spokesperson for the TJA promised that the media would to its part to enhance and over-simplify the new narrative of good versus evil.
“Now that the Southern story no longer requires us to dig deeply into the ugly interrelationships between the mafia, the police, the army, and big business, we’re happy to talk about it,” he said.