Throughout much of the 1960s and beyond, Thailand has faced an immensely complicated insurgent situation. By the beginning of the 1980s there were three principal insurgent movements: ‘poorly organized’ Muslim separatists; remnants of the Malay Communist Party that had conducted the insurgency in Malaya and Malaysia; and the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT) (Randolph and Thompson 1981: 16). Most of the members of the latter two groups were ethnically Chinese, and during that period both maintained relatively large numbers of members (Prizzia 1985: 22). The CPT, however, faced a significant amount of factionalization after Hanoi and Beijing split, with various CPT leaders leaning to one side or the other. After the end of the Cold War, both Communist groups appear to have precipitously faded into insignificance. Muslim separatists have, however, proven to be more problematic. Splits between the central government in Bangkok and the southern provinces have existed since the incorporation of the Sultanate of Pattani in 1902. The local populace did not respond well to their new status, and unrest quickly developed (Pojar 2005: 8-22). Ethnically and religiously, over 80 per cent of the roughly two million people in the three southern provinces are Malay and Muslim, with most southerners speaking Yawi, a Malay dialect (Pauker 2005/2006: 78). Historically, the majority of the ethnic Malay population continued to identify more with their kinsmen still in Malaya and Malaysia than with the concept of being Thai. Their status as Muslims almost certainly further exacerbated their alienation from the Thai Buddhist majority, but religion likely should be viewed more as a marker for larger ethnic differences than as being the key element of the unrest (Harish 2006: 48-69).