44) In short, the BRN could be trying to leverage a leadership position at the table by entering into talks, just as PULO
has tried to do repeatedly since 2004.
The exiled PULO
leadership in 2001 expressed disappointment that many Malay Muslims of the borderland now accepted that they were "Siamese", highlighting that "Malayness" was no longer a sufficient ground for galvanizing resistance to the Thai state.
The GMIP, BRN-C, as well as the smaller Jemaah Salafi and New PULO
, are not at ideological war with one another; indeed, they share an Islamist vision.
Perhaps most importantly, PULO
had become wildly unpopular with the southern population and essentially dissolved.
Importantly, they stress that the violence that was brewing over 2001 to 2003, and which dramatically erupted in 2004, was a product of long-term organising, planning and recruitment during 'the lull' period following the disintegration of the BRN and PULO
insurgent groups in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Recently it has been revealed former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had initiated and brokered a series of informal peace talks in Malaysia with several Thai Muslim rebel leaders, including those from PULO
62) Detailed negotiations were held from 26-27 December, with Bersatu, PULO
, GMIP, and BRN-Congress representing insurgent groups.
Kelantan Social Development and Finance Planning Committee chairman Husam Musa said the state government was unaware of the channeling of funds to the PULO
, the New Straits Times reported.
However, any connection between PULO
and the current insurgents remains undemonstrable.
The three separatists -- Haji Da-oh Thanam, a military leader of the new Pattani United Liberation Organization (PULO
), Haji Buedo Betong and Haji Sama-ae Thanam, a military leader of the mainstream PULO
-- were sentenced to death, but the court commuted the sentences to life imprisonment because they pleaded guilty and offered confessions, the criminal court said in its ruling.
August 2005 a spokesman for the PULO
denied that his movement had ties
9) Unlike GAMPAR and BRN, PULO
placed a greater emphasis on the notion of "Islam" than the idea of "Malay" in the conflict.