Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Calls to Curb the Crown’s Writ Put Thailand on Edge
Report 241 / Asia

泰国:南部冲突迭起

执行摘要

泰国以马来人/穆斯林为主的南部省份经历了十年的暴力分裂活动之后。现在反叛势力的实力正在超过中央政府的应对能力,而中央政府深陷自满情绪和政治冲突的泥潭。虽然曼谷方面声称采用耐性来应对反叛势力,但他们发起的更复杂更残暴的攻击使得死亡率持续上升。历任泰国政府对待这场东南亚地区最暴力的内乱所选择的态度都是敷衍了事,主要的原因是中央政府陈旧的观念、官僚们忙于争夺势力以及国家层面发生的一场激烈的政治斗争。2012年,一项新出台的针对该地区的安全政策首次承认了冲突的政治本质,并把地方分权以及与激进分子对话等纳入解决冲突的方案。但是,要实施这项政策,泰国领导人需要把南方问题非政治化,与公民社会接触,就政治权力移交达成共识,并努力推动开展对话。对曼谷方面而言,展开对话和地方分权可能难以实施,但随着时间的推移,要想作出必要的政策调整可能会变得更具挑战性。

泰国前总理他信在2006年的政变中下台。他信的支持者和来自军队、官场、王室的反对者之间棘手的权力争斗使南部冲突问题不再凸显。但是,该地区仍旧是一个政治游戏的舞台。南部地区和曼谷的文职官员被要求尊重军队特权,从而被束缚了手脚。他们一直在寻求一种不用通过政治改革而结束暴力的方法,却也没有成功。约6万人的安全部队被部署在南部地区, 特别的安全法律得到出台,数十亿美元被投入到南部,但是这些措施都没有显著减少伤亡或是控制动乱。

过去两年中,暴力活动的规模基本没有达到会引来公众压力要求新的解决办法的水平。然而,时而发生的大规模袭击使得这场冲突刺激着公众的神经。2012年就发生了好几次大规模的袭击,包括3月31日同时在惹拉和合艾发生的协同好了的汽车爆炸。媒体公布了一段闭路电视视频显示,7月在北大年府玛尧区光天化日之下的发生的袭击导致了4名士兵丧生。这段视频展示的场面很残暴,公众对官方所谓的政府已经控制了局面的保证提出了质疑。当曼谷方面明显的政治动荡消停后,南部腹地又再次成为编辑、官员和政客们的热门话题。但是这种重新发起的关注并没有激发新的想法或意愿来解决南部的问题。

2011年8月上台的英拉·西拉瓦政府把事情取得进展的希望寄托在达威·苏松(Thawee Sodsong)警察上校身上。他是他信的拥趸者,也被委任领导重振的南部边境省份行政中心(Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre,SBPAC)。达威的政治决心和慷慨的现金发放,使他个人在该地区得到了一定程度的认可。但是,发生爆炸的3月31日那天报纸正好也首次报导了他信摸尝试与被流放的激进分子领导人开始和平谈判的消息,以及对爆炸与谈判是相关联的指控。他信否认与叛军领导人进行了会谈,暴力活动和相互指责也持续升级,对话进程似乎回到了原点。面对持续的暴乱,政府内阁同意成立一个高级别的“指挥中心”(war room),协调17个部委与南部腹地相关的工作。但是,成立指挥中心的这项举措并未削弱官僚们想要调整组织构架的冲动,因为安全官员要求将非军方组织SBPAC重新纳入军队主导的国内安全行动指挥部(Internal Security Operations Command,ISOC)的管辖之下。

泰国政府解决泰国南部冲突的政治途径长久以来都是公开的,但是曼谷方面尚未能承诺采用一种全面而果断的方式。2012年初国家安全委员会(National Security Council,NSC)公布了一项三年政策。这项政策前景颇为明朗,承认了暴乱在政治层面的影响,并把地方分权和对话作为官方策略写进了条款中,但是政治和官场的内讧很有可能妨碍这项政策的实施。政府应该逆转南部腹地的军事化,取缔严酷的安全法律,结束安全部队的免责权,因为这些因素都刺激了暴乱的发生。泰国领导人也应当在达成一项广泛的全国共识来大胆地采取行动解决冲突,包括政治分权、与公民社会积极接触以及持续努力与叛军展开和平对话。与南部地区的代表会谈,改变南部腹地的统治方式,缔造公平,承认该地区独有的文化,这些通通都是减少暴力活动的综合措施的组成部分。

在曼谷方面踌躇不决之际,叛军胆子越来越大,发起的袭击也更严重。他们正在发动一些能获得更多关注的袭击,即便获得更多关注并不是他们刻意追求的目标。激进分子认为把战斗控制在他们已经掌控的地盘之内符合其战略利益,这点对于泰国来说是很幸运的。但是,暴力活动的发展速度已经开始挑战政府自身能作出回应的能力了。如果没有更具创造性的思维和更灵活的行动,曼谷将会面临失去主动权的危险。

雅加达/布鲁塞尔,2012年12月11日

Executive Summary

After a decade of separatist violence in Thailand’s Malay/
Muslim-majority southern provinces, insurgent capabilities are outpacing state counter-measures that are mired in complacency and political conflict. While Bangkok claims to make a virtue of patience, more sophisticated and brutal insurgent attacks increase the death toll. Successive governments have opted to muddle through South East Asia’s most violent internal conflict, their responses hostage to outmoded conceptions of the state, bureaucratic turf battles and a bitter national-level political struggle. In 2012, a new security policy for the region acknowledged for the first time the conflict’s political nature and identified decentralisation and dialogue with militants as components of a resolution. But fulfilling this policy demands that Thai leaders depoliticise the South issue, engage with civil society, build a consensus on devolving political power and accelerate efforts toward dialogue. Dialogue and decentralisation may be difficult for Bangkok to implement, but the necessary changes could become even more challenging over time.

The intractable power struggle between supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, deposed in a 2006 coup d’état, and his opponents in the army, bureaucracy and palace has overshadowed the conflict in the South. Yet, the region remains another arena for political games­man­ship. Civilian officials there and in Bangkok have been hamstrung by the need to respect military prerogatives and have searched in vain for a formula that can tamp down the violence without committing to political reforms. Deployment of some 60,000 security forces, special security laws and billions of dollars have not achieved any appreciable decline in casualties or curbed the movement.

For the past two years, violence has largely persisted below a threshold that might have generated public pressure for new approaches. Periodically, though, spectacular attacks thrust the conflict into national consciousness. A number of these have taken place in 2012, including the 31 March coordinated car-bombs in Yala and Hat Yai. Media broadcast of closed-circuit television (CCTV) video showing an audacious daylight strike that killed four soldiers in July in Mayo District, Pattani Province, confronted the public with brutal images that challenged official assurances that the government was on the right track. As overt political turmoil in Bangkok receded, the Deep South again became a hot topic for editors, bureaucrats and politicians, but this renewed attention has not yet prompted fresh thinking or new will to tackle the problem.

The Yingluck Shinawatra administration, which came to office in August 2011, placed its hopes for progress on Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong, a Thaksin loyalist chosen to lead the reinvigorated Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC). Through determination and unstinting cash hand-outs, Thawee won a degree of personal approval within in the region. But the 31 March bombings coincided with first reports of Thaksin’s fumbled attempt to start a peace process with exiled militant leaders and allegations that the two events were linked. With Thaksin denying he talked with rebel leaders and violence and recriminations mounting, the dialogue process appeared to be back at square one. Faced with continued insurgent violence, the cabinet approved a high-level “war room” to coordinate the work of seventeen ministries with responsibilities in the Deep South. This did not blunt the bureaucratic impulse to tinker with organisational charts, however, as security officials called for re-sub­or­di­na­tion of the civilian SBPAC to the military-dominated Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC).

The contours of a political resolution to the conflict in southern Thailand have long been in the public domain, but Bangkok has been unable to commit to a comprehensive and decisive approach. A promising three-year policy issued by the National Security Council in early 2012 recognises a political dimension of the violence and codifies decentralisation and dialogue as official strategy, but its implementation is likely to be impeded by political and bureaucratic infighting. The government should reverse the militarisation of the Deep South, lift the draconian security laws and end the security forces’ impunity, all of which help stimulate the insurgency. Thai leaders should also forge a broad national consensus for bold action to resolve the conflict, including decentralisation of political power, earnest engagement with civil society and sustained efforts to cultivate a peace dialogue with the insurgency. Talking to its representatives, changing the way the Deep South is governed, delivering justice, and recognising the region’s unique culture are all elements of a comprehensive approach to reducing the violence.

As Bangkok dithers, the insurgents are growing bolder and more capable. They are conducting attacks that are attracting, if not deliberately seeking, more attention. Thailand has been fortunate that the militants have considered it in their strategic interest to contain the fight within their proclaimed territory, but the violence has evolved at a pace that is starting to challenge the ability of the government to respond on its own terms. Without more creative thinking and deft action, Bangkok risks losing the initiative.

Bangkok/Brussels, 11 December 2012

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