~Meaw & More~

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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Privatization of security “Thai-Thai” style: Should citizens be responsible, if all fail?

After attending the seminar I mentioned shortly at poli-sci, TU, I heard several panelist voiced their concern about security in the south as someone who are there. Among five panelist, one is a monk, the others are a new reporter, a muslim doctor of medicine and a national assembly member, a teacher (representing three southern province teacher association), and a researcher at Prince of Sonkla University (Pattani Campus). Two out of lay-persons are actively carrying their own firearms for self defense. The monk rely on patrol and protection of military in his temple and stop asking for alms, fearing security risks.

I wrote once in this blog about arming civilians by state agencies or otherwise. Reflection from two panelists, who is , to a degree an insider in the phenomena raised my concern for the right to bear arms for self-defence and perception/deception of security. Furthermore, it highlight that in their eyes, no one, not even the government or the state can ensure their security.

This is an indicator that has been going on for years. Earlier in 2005, teachers in the three southern border provinces called for ministry of education’s loan to buy their pistols and ask for subsidiaries to keep the price affordable. They are also received training from military and police officers in the area. The indicator signaled that they do not think the government and related agencies are stepping on the right path. Not knowing what to do, they turn to weapons.

Their fear also reflect their perception and deception. First they think that Buddhist and government office will have higher casualties than Muslim villagers. This perception had been proved by by statistical analysis at deepsouthwatch.org that the casualties between Buddhist and Muslim did not significantly different. (See Chitbhiromsri, 2006 at http://www.deepsouthwatch.org/index.php?l=content&id=47)

Second, they think that they would be attack because they represent the government and the Thai state. However, the rate between unarmed government/civil services and armed military or police personnel from the same source reflected that unarmed state officer have lower mortality homicide,comparing to civilian(op cit.)

Finally, today according to Thairath’s article, which I could not find its English counterparts in Bangkokpost or The Nation, an Army Major said “[M]ilitary and police officers and civilians should be cautious, particularly when bearing arms. If one is not confident they could retaliate an attack or take care of the weapon, then it should not be carried. Thus, this would not bring weapons to the opposition [insurgents].” (Thairath, December 13, 2006 at http://www.thairath.co.th/offline.php?section=hotnews&content=29906).

While the term “privatization of security” is often referred to using private companies to render security services instead of using uniform state or nsa forces. However, the term is relevant for me to describe situation in the south when individuals have to be responsible for their own self defense in this kind of conflict. Probably the term individualization of security?

People can pay for whatever they think they’d “feel” safe, when they think the protection or any measure employed would not work for them, they have to rely on themselves. Researches could indicate otherwise. Self sponsored, in contrast to previous concerns about state sponsored, armed civilians should be a new target for studies as indicator of security status in the south and to ensure that their choice of protection would bring actual safety to them, not just a moving ammunitions and weapon depots.

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Filed under: Security

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