The Challenge of People’s College with the Opening Common Space for Permanently Peace
Resolution in Patani/Deep South Thailand
Insider’s Missions for Peace
The situation of conflicts in Deep South Thailand/Patani, over a decade until now, is regarded as difficult and challenging proposition for every government. The preceding problem solving is still lack of participation and public sphere for people. Due to the operation of peace talk taken part only by conflict pairs is not enough to find solution in peace process in Deep South/Patani. It is not only Thai authorities and alliance of southern insurgent groups that can assign the justice way to break the conflicts. Peace process should be hold by many sections such as civil organizations, academicians, local and religious leaders, in the area. So they can take part in the process of peace. It is not only Thai authorities and alliance of southern insurgent groups that can assign the justice way to break the conflicts. Also, people should have opportunities for discussion to figure out ways of building peace.
People’s College is civil organization. The mission of People’s College is to organize short and long training for other civil organizations and people about democratic, political and peace processing issues in Patani/Deep South. As the insiders, we organize the space for peace talk and broadcast academic documents that reflect on peace work to the outsiders. We aim to see systematic change in our society.
Now Patani is in the time of needing experiences of political way to step over the severe conflict in the area. So, People’s College really gives precedence to Conflicts in Period of Transition issue. People’s College has organized the training and forum such as “Wawasan Patani/ vision 2020” . Academic forum, “Wawasan Patani 2020”or Patani/Deep South vision 2020 is initiated by People’s college. We manage this forum every year in order to be an area for people in Patani/ Deep South which has cultural diversity to have a speech. People who participate in this forum are NGOs, religious leaders, academicians, university students, and government officer. We come to talk together about the future.
People’s college Missions in 2015-2016
1) Center for democratic studies opened a curriculum of Local Leaders for Peace (LP). There are two groups, 35 trainees per groups. This curriculum focused on building knowledge area for local leaders to attract grass root people to participate in peace process.
2) Center for conflict studies opened a training of Peace building strategic Plan (PBS). There are 70 trainees. This program aim to make the trainees develop strategy of their organization and have abilities to work with others.
3) Department of consulate open a high certificate program of Peace Mediation Process (PMP). There are
15 trainees. There are specialists of peace mediation as a trainer.
4) Center for personnel development under Balance Space’s dialog to Peace opened short training program about skills development. The program focused on having tools and skills that important for peace work. There are 30 trainees.
5.) Department of public political support opened a program of Patani Peace Contact Group (PCG). It’s a talk that expects to have public area for civil organization to make peace dialogue, to support leaders of civil organization, and to make understanding about peace dialogue and peace commitment. There was the stage for stakeholders of several issues building the platform between policy level or dialogue partners, so that they can communicate with the insiders. Importantly, we try to convince educational institutes in this area and neighbor countries to support academic knowledge especially about the issue of preparing to peace dialogue.
6) Center for research and development has research program about the need of CSO development in peace process in Patani/ Deep South. This program helped specify CSO working direction which already has their strategy.
Besides, People’s college invited experts (from Thailand and foreign countries) of specific courses to be as lecturer, for they can extremely exchange their knowledge and experiences Also, this is a way to find new methods of thinking and perspective. Moreover, People’s College is planning to open a new kind of activity this year. The activity is important for the conflict area that is in the transitional situation, from the conflict to peace.
The activity called “Insider Talks” or the area of insider to find ways of building peace in Patani. The highlights of activity are talk show and debate from insider. Also, there will be forums about the issue that both insider and outsider are interested. We aim to attract insider to take part and support peace work in Patani together in the future.
Our mission aims to give importance to people in Patani/ Deep South where it is a multicultural society and our stakeholders in peace process from outside. So, we can exchange for finding political way to solve the conflict together. We expect that this political way will make people in the society and conflict pairs concern and give chance to government, Thai majority, and international organizations to take part in peace process too. We can touch that Patanians want to step over the violence, so NGOs who work for peace and grass root people who are influenced by the violence are trying to use political ways to find ways of solving new problems. Of course, the activities that we organized can be the signal that trying to communicate with Thai majority and main conflict pairs.