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Final Report for Field

Research Community Approaches in Conflict Situation : An Area Based Study in Three Southernmost Provinces in Thailand

Submitted to : Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University
Date: July 30, 2009

Period cover: from November 15,2007-July 30, 2009
(Extended period)  
Start date of project: November 15, 2007 

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By: Research Center for Peace Building, Mahidol UniversityPeace Information Center, Faculty of Political Science,Thammasat University

Introduction: Background of the research 


The southern insurgency has become worse considering the degree of violence. Terrorist groups have been using inhumane methods in their operations, while the military-based operations focus on suppressive and eliminative strategies. Locals, who play no part in the conflict, have become the victims of the aggressive violence from both parties. The degree of fear, mistrust, and anger has been increasing among people who live in the same community. Needless to say that, these feelings would reach the peak when government officials and terrorist groups are involved. 


The members of research team acknowledge the fact that this circumstance may escalate into the uncontrollable situation of fear and mistrust among people in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, and possibly expand to the other parts of the country. Thus, we are very pleased to know that an international organization such as World Bank is concerned on the issue, and willingly offers the assistance to conduct an in-depth research in order to create the most precise development mechanism and conflict resolution techniques which can be applied to the southernmost provinces. We believe that the successful and sustainable community development and conflict resolution must come from the initiatives of the people in the local communities. The external intervention must be kept at the minimum degree, while the external assistance must be based only on empowering people to be able to develop their own techniques by their own wisdom. Thus, our task is “to help people to help themselves by their own ways”, that is why this project is emphasized on community approaches. 


This research focuses on two major areas of study, namely conflict study and community development study. The conflict study will focus on the southern insurgency areas where conflicts had erupted since January 2004. The analysis is based on several conflict incidents and other references available. The research also studies the dynamic of the violent incidents in connection with consequences of those incidents. The study analyzes the linkage between the social transformation that leads to the escalation or elimination of conflicts. 


The social and community development study focuses on the cause of poverty in the southern local communities and to create the linkage between the poverty and cause of violence. Moreover, the study focuses on several social mechanisms that could be the cause of indirect violence in the time of negative peace, and the cause of social unrest due to development inequality. The study also focuses on people participation in political, economic, educational, development, cultural, and religious matters. It analyzes the channels of inter- and intra-communities communication and participation of the local villagers in order to find the appropriate approach for building trust among people.

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Research Center for Peace Building (Old) Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University
999 Puthamonthon 4th Road, Salaya, Puthamonthon, Nakornpathom 73170 Thailand
Tel: +662 849 6072-5 Fax: +662 849 6075
Email: pewww@mahidol.ac.th