The Importance of Culture in Emic Interpretations of the History of Thailand’s Southern Separatist Movement: The 'Gentlemen’s Agreement' of 1943 and the Malaysian Relationship with the Separatists

Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 46-56, 2010

11 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2010

Date Written: May 5, 2010

Abstract

This paper explores the role of culture in two important events in the history of the separatist struggle in the Muslim South of Thailand. The first event was the “gentlemen’s agreement” of 1943, promising Britain’s support for independence or annexation to British Malaya in exchange of military and intelligence support against the Japanese, between the traditional Melayu leadership and the British Colonial Office represented by the commander of the British forces in Malaya during World War II. Emic and etic explanations are provided from the point of view of the Melayu leardership and of the British. The second event that is discussed is more complex and involves Malaysia’s support for the separatist movement and subsequent negotiations during the 1980s between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur leading to an agreement stipulating that Malaysia would cease aiding the separatist movement in exchange of Thailand’s support against the Communist Party of Malaya along the porous Thai-Malay border. Finally, a brief conclusion summarizes the importance of culture in the history of the separatist movement of Southern Thailand.

Keywords: Thailand, Malaysia, Separatist Movements, Ethnonationalism

Suggested Citation

von Feigenblatt, Otto Federico, The Importance of Culture in Emic Interpretations of the History of Thailand’s Southern Separatist Movement: The 'Gentlemen’s Agreement' of 1943 and the Malaysian Relationship with the Separatists (May 5, 2010). Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 46-56, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1621079

Otto Federico Von Feigenblatt (Contact Author)

Real Academia de Doctores de España ( email )

Madrid
Spain

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