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head_statue

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In southern thailand, in Pattani province there used to be a Malay sultanate which was a vassal to the thai kingdom, in a kind of federal monarchy. In 1902 Thailand abolished the sultanate and converted it into a normal province.

Currently pattani is wracked by a separatist insurgency by various malay separatist groups, some of the separatist leaders in exile involved in negotiations and PR claimed nostalgia for the era of the sultanate, but they seem to have little control over the actual fighters on the ground, some of whom seem to be connected to al qaeda and others to the moro islamic liberation from and free aceh movement

The southern phillipines used to consist of several Moro sultanates which were never conquered by Spain, but only recently by the american administration in the phillipines in the infamous moro insurgency during the early 1900s. Various rebel groups operated there. Abu sayyaf is connected to al qaeda and operates under its banner, while the Moro islamic liberation front and other "mainstream" insurgents have more realistic demands like a Moro "sub state" ( they are basically demanding that the mindanao area become a federal republic in the phillipines, like the tatarstan republic in the russian federation)

The phillipines has so far refused to grant them federal status.

There was also a similar insurgency in indonesia in the province of Aceh, which also used to be an independent sultanate, with various insurgent groups seeking an independent aceh.

The obvious solution would be for these former sultanates to be granted federal status as Sultanates like the Kingdom of Saxony within the former German empire, and this would weed out the al qaeda aligned insurgents from those who want genuine autonomy and federal status, and especially in the phillipnes, where the MILF specifically demanded such status it seems foolish that the filipino government wouldn't even try it out to see if they are jesting or not.
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