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Former Pulo insurgent voices enduring reverence for King

Former Pulo insurgent voices enduring reverence for King

TUESDAY, November 08, 2016
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Ma-ae says he read about monarch’s good works while in jail, now seeks to promote the king’s philosophy.

HM KING Bhumibol Adulyadej was much loved among people in Thailand, including armed insurgents in the country’s southernmost region. 
“I have never heard someone speak badly about His Majesty. People from all walks of life, regardless of their age group, are all grateful to his kind contributions to their well-being,” a former separatist, Ma-ae Sa-a, said this week. 
Ma-ae was previously known by his alias, Hayee Sama-ae Thanam, a prominent member of the Patani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo). The King, who passed away on October 13, ascended the throne in 1946 and spent seven decades trying to boost the quality of life for people all over Thailand. 
“I grew up in southern border provinces where people were always glad to hear about His Majesty’s upcoming visits,” Ma-ae recounted. “I myself was among the crowds of people waiting to catch a glimpse of him.” 
The former insurgent remembered how glad and delighted he felt when, at the age of 12 in 1963, he saw His Majesty near the Central Pattani Mosque.
“I also heard the late founder of Pulo (Abdul na Wangkhram) praising His Majesty particularly in regards to his royal works |and his delivery of help to Muslim people in Thailand. His Majesty had totally dedicated himself |to everyone,” Ma-ae said. 
Founded in 1968, Pulo took up arms to liberate Patani. Several local residents in Thanam in Pattani’s Panare district, Ma-ae’s hometown, joined the movement and he became its operational chief. Because of its activities, Ma-ae was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment two decades ago. 
However, good behaviour while in jail saw his penalty reduced. Last year, Ma-ae was released. 
“While in prison, I read a lot about His Majesty’s philosophies, particularly the Sufficiency Economy philosophy,” Ma-ae disclosed.
He has now embraced the Sufficiency Economy philosophy wholeheartedly and promoted its among people in his hometown. 
News of the revered monarch’s demise brought Ma-ae much grief. “I have paid a moment of silence in remembrance of His Majesty five times a day, after my prayers,” he said. 
Speaking from the unrest-plagued deep South, Ma-ae has had a firm conviction that His Majesty’s legacy of “Understand, Reach Out, and Develop” strategy along with Sufficiency Economy philosophy will finally help restore peace his home region.