ISOC, sufficiency economy and the south

22 06 2009

On 21 June 2009, ISOC took out two full-page advertisements in the Bangkok Post that readers of the on-line Bangkok Post might easily overlook. PPT outlines both here.

From Sufficiency to Prosperity

The first advertisement, in the Spectrum lift-out, and poorly disguised as an article, begins with obligatory quotes from the king and then states: “As a branch of the Thai military devoted to national security issues, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) is deeply grateful for H. M. the King’s grace. His Majesty the King not only enables Thai people to live in peace, but also brings stability to Thailand by way of his Sufficiency economy model. H.M. the King realises that when the quality of life of individual citizens and their families improves, the country as a whole will also prosper.”

The ISOC writer then claims: “Many of H.M. the King’s initiatives clearly reflect his great perseverance and dedication to enabling the Thai people to prosper despite economic setbacks. Thai people are very fortunate to have such a caring monarch for the last 60 years.”

Following the usual claims for the sufficiency economy idea and the capacity for the monarch to go out and advise his subjects, the writer says, “The philosophy of H.M. the King’s sufficiency economy serves to produce greater stability for Thailand, especially in the kingdom’s southern provinces around the troubled border area. ISOC Region 4 is currently implementing a public relations campaign to convince Thai citizens in the south to adopt and follow the sufficiency economy paradigm. It is in this area, currently plagued by civil unrest, that such an economy model can have great success as it focuses on producing increased stability through development for the entire population as its central tenet.”

This is a view that PPT hasn’t heard expressed by security agencies in the past, but maybe we just haven’t followed southern events carefully enough.

The article continues: “A centre for education about HM The King ‘ s sufficiency economy model has been established in front of the Sirinthorn Military Camp in Pattani province in order to provide locals with a place to learn about techniques they can apply to their own lives. The centre has already received many leading officers of Thai state authorities as well as those from other countries to view the work being done there which encompasses, in total, some 10,000 people. Even if the large group of people do not all follow the things learned at the Sirinthorn Centre, it will still likely have a positive impact on the local communities, bringing greater happiness and stability to the country no matter how many more economic crises it must endure!”

PPT doesn’t imagine that locals have been flocking to the military base. However, we do detect a degree of wishful thinking.

Vicious Circle in the South – We are suppressing the fire that they have set

The second full page advertisement is headlined as above and appeared in the Brunch lift-out. This is a propaganda piece apparently aimed at foreigners and essentially claiming that no officials were involved in the 8 June mosque massacre.

Getting the name of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) wrong, it is stated that various organizations, including the OIC, “condemned the act as the brutalities of the insurgents.” If one looks at the OIC’s website on this topic ( it is clear that ISOC is embellishing in a way that is highly damaging to the OIC and misleading. Here is the OIC statement:

“The Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, condemned the armed assault waged on Monday 8th June 2009 against Muslim worshippers at Al-Furqan Mosque in Narathiwat province in southern Thailand. He expressed his heartfelt regret over the killing of the mosque’s Imam [prayer leader] along with ten worshippers and the severe wounding of ten other people.

This tragic incident falls within a string of aggressions conducted by armed and organized elements that have targeted worshippers and worship venues in southern Thailand in a bid to terrorize Muslims and restrain them from demanding their legitimate rights. These armed groups enjoy the support of influential parties.

While Ihsanoglu emphasizes his firm denunciation of terrorist acts affecting innocent civilians, he calls upon the Thai government to undertake a probe into this tragic incident, apprehend its perpetrators in order to refer them to justice, and deploy the necessary efforts to protect the lives and property of Muslims in southern Thailand.”

The ISOC advert continues with General Anupong Paochinda’s continued denials of official involvement. The local ISOC deputy director in the region is cited as emphasizing the need for increased activity by security officials.

The blurb continues:

“The Deputy Director added that the military will not increase its force. Transference of officers will be done in the problem areas. Operations in some areas must be led by military officers to prevent the opposite to dominate the villagers and is able to increase their militant force.

Besides, the security strategy must be adjusted from watch out to go out and look after every dangerous spot. Because some places are blind corners such as karaoke shops that open until 2 or 3 a.m. With the new strategy there wil\l be a patrol unit working even in very late at night.

Religious centers, such as Buddhist temples and mosques, will be specially guarded to destroy the insurgent’s vicious circle – setting up turmoil and putting the blame on officials or creating the impression of religious conflict as usual.”

PPT finds it astounding that the military and ISOC are claiming to be the victims. But in propaganda, the truth hardly matters. That they see the need to promote their position in English is interesting but unlikely to be successful.



5 responses

23 06 2009
New: ISOC, sufficiency economy and the south « Political Prisoners …

[…] See the original post here: New: ISOC, sufficiency economy and the south « Political Prisoners … […]

1 07 2009
New: Editorial propaganda « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Editorial propaganda As we reported recently, the Bangkok Post seems to be taking paid advertising from the Internal Security Operations Command […]

2 07 2009
New: More ISOC propaganda on the south by The Nation « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] on the south by The Nation Regular PPT readers will recall that over the past few days we have commented on a barrage of ISOC propaganda in the English-language […]

13 07 2009
New: ISOC propaganda effort continues « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] ISOC propaganda effort continues PPT has mentioned (here, here and here) the apparently paid advertising by ISOC that is appearing in the Bangkok Post, as […]

25 08 2009
New: The south and propaganda « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] The south and propaganda PPT has posted on ISOC propaganda in the south previously (here, here and here, for example). A couple of weeks ago, the now somewhat subdued Foreign Minister […]

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