The Duay Jai (Hearty Support) Group was established in January 2010 with the aim of developing and implementing social programmes focused on helping those imprisoned for crimes related to the insurgency, as well as their families.
The support is largely focused around education programmes and counselling for detainees and their families, including activities aimed at teaching the philosophy of peacebuilding to detainees, the authorities and the wider community.
Duay Jai also provides training programmes specifically aimed at improving understanding of conflict resolution and peacebuilding philosophies, and how they can be best applied by all parties in Thailand's southern border provinces.
Central to Duay Jai’s work is its founder and director, Anchana Heemina. Anchana was motivated to set up the organisation after her brother-in-law was detained by the security forces for alleged involvement in insurgency and to this date has remained incarcerated without due process or trial.
In 2010 the Duay Jai Group, in cooperation with prison authorities in Songkhla province, initiated a peace programme for prison detainees. It is hoped that the peace programme will help detainees gain a perspective on their situation and control any rising resentment or hatred for the state authorities. The programme also tries to assist detainees find recourse to justice. By helping detainees and their families, Duay Jai hopes to prevent further distrust and anger between the state and the local Malay Muslim population in the far South, and therefore avoid the perpetuation of the conflict.
Another of the major objectives of the peace programme is to conduct research interviews. The Songkhla prison authorities have noted that detainees place their trust in the Duay Jai Group and have therefore been willing to speak openly and freely with members of the organisation – something that the prison authorities have supported fully.
One of the key objectives of the research interviews is to research views of the detainees about the circumstances which led to them being detained in Songkhla prison. From these findings, the Duay Jai Group hopes to correlate the data with that gained from other reports that highlight legal or extra judicial legal processes that may have led to injustices occurring.
Research and information gathering
The Duay Jai Group also works on policy and legal reform, considering propostions for amendments and researching proposed laws, including the idea of amnesties.
In all these ways, the Duay Jai Group works to reduce any feelings of resentment and therefore build the social foundations for understanding, negotiation and compromise - a very important element of any peacebuilding process.
The Duay Jai group also conducts various research projects aimed at identifying opportunities and challenges to conflict resolution processes. Several case studies have been carried out in four districts in Songkhla province as part of the ‘Women in Families of Detainees Empowerment Program’. In 2011 the group also launched its Access to Justice Project in Songkhla province.