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Patani Colonial Territory designer summoned for game of truth or dare

The designer of Patani Colonial Territory, a game based on the recent history of Thailand’s southern regions, is believed to have been summoned by police after the game was confiscated from a café in Yala. Chachiluk Games said that the game designer was not involved in the conceptualisation and production process.

Reporting on Thailand involves at least one truly absurd story each day, but in terms of petty-minded silliness, the board game saga takes the cake.

The Chachiluk team are unsettled by reports that the designer has been summoned by the police, and called on the authorities to follow the law to the letter.

Patani Colonial Territory is based on the history of Siam’s colonization of Patani. Authorities are scapegoating the game with claims that it challenges government attempts to defeat rebels calling for more autonomy in the region. The game was confiscated from Life Coffee Slow Bar café in Yala’s Buung Sata district on November 28 by police and military officers acting without any warrant.


Production of the game is backed by Common School, an organisation under the Progressive Movement Foundation, a non-profit entity founded by former members of the dissolved Future Forward Party who were banned from politics following the party’s dissolution.

The game has been targeted by military officers, academics and right-wing forces, who claim that the information it presents is misleading and that it aims to incite people against the state, though how many of them have actually played or even seen the game is open to question.

Lt Gen Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the 4th Army Region, was invited to the game launch but sent another high-ranking officer in his stead. The officer saw the game and confirmed that no part of it was against the law.

Maj Gen Pramote Phrom-in, deputy director of the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 Forward Command, a quasi-military entity heavily involved in security matters in the south, said that the game contains misinformation, such as stories about Malay people being enslaved, chained and taken to Bangkok. He claims that the game has invented history to incite people, without citing his qualifications to make this kind of historical judgement, nor citing any academic support for his position.

Independently, Piti Srisangnam, director of the centre for international economics at Chulalongkorn University, said that the chaining story is recognised by the academic community as false, again without citing any sources.

Suksan Sangsri, speaking for the far-right Thai Pakdee Party, submitted a petition to the Ministry of Interior to investigate everyone related to the development of the game, including the Patani Colonial Territory designer and the person who gave the game to the café.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career, Jon is now semi-retired, living in a quiet village in Krabi province, Thailand. He continues to write and is an avid traveler and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.
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