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Narathiwat Province


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Narathiwat (Thai นราธิวาส) is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. To the south it borders, Kelantan, Malaysia.


The name Narathiwat means The residence of good people.


The province is located on the shore of the Gulf of Thailand on the Malay Peninsula.


Historically Pattani was part of the semi-independent Malay Pattani kingdom, but paying tribute to the Thai kingdoms of Sukhothai and Ayutthaya. After Ayutthaya fell in 1767 Pattani gained full independence, but under King Rama I it again came under Siam's control. In 1909, it was annexed by Siam as part of Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 negotiated with the British Empire. Along with Yala, Narathiwat was originally part of Pattani, but they were split off and became province of their own. There is a separatist movement in Yala, which after being dormant for many years erupted again in 2004.


Narathiwat is one of the four Thai provinces which have a Muslim majority, 82% are Muslim and only 17.9% are Buddhist. Also 80.4% speak the Malay language.


The provincial seal shows a sailing boat with a white elephant on the sail. The white elephant is a royal symbol of Thailand, and is put on the seal to commemorate the animal called Phra Sri Nararat Rajakarini that was caught here and given to the king.

The provincial symbol is the longkong fruit (Lansium domesticum), the provincial tree is the Chengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii) and the provincial flower is Odontadenia macrantha.


Narathiwat is subdivided into 13 districts (Amphoe), which are further subdivided into 77 communes (tambon) and 551 villages (muban).


There has been unrest in southern Thailand since January 4, 2004, particularly in the provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, and Pattani. These regions are home to most of the Muslim minority in Thailand, many of whom are also ethnic Malays. These have been the scene of separatist activity since the 1980s. The population is particularly disaffected by the perceived heavy-handed crackdown on these activities by the central government, which has portrayed the security problems in the region as a non-issue.


Narathiwat Province

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