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Peace-Building the Focus in the Yala Provincial Development Plan

March 20, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

1475120751pThere is a new emphasis on developing Yala, one of the southern border provinces, into a highly livable city, together with a focus on peace-building, so that local people live together in harmony amidst cultural diversity.
The emphasis is the vision of the province contained in the Yala Provincial Development Plan, 2014 to 2017, which seeks to provide opportunities for members of all sectors of society to join efforts for social integrity.

In order to accomplish this vision, a strategy has been worked out to ensure justice for suspects and convicts involved in security charges. Those who have been misled into creating unrest will be given opportunities to turn over a new leaf, or prove their innocence in the legal process.

The operations of the Yala Peace Center will be promoted. This center has played an important role in ensuring justice and easing conflicts resulting from unrest in the deep South. It has created better understanding with the families of those who have created unrest. Many people have joined the center in an effort to bring about lasting pace in the deep South. Their participation has reduced the number of violent incidents in Yala. The center also helps improve the quality of life of local residents through occupational development and promotion.

The Municipality of Yala is recognized for having one of the most beautiful city plans in Thailand. The province was also selected as one of the country’s most healthy cities by the World Health Organization in 2000.

Yala boasts beautiful natural attractions, such as Hala-Bala, a fertile forest rich in biodiversity that is being promoted as a new eco-tourist site. The province has great potential for wholesale and retail trade. People in nearby provinces, such as Narathiwat and Pattani, often come to buy consumer goods in Yala to sell in their respective areas.

As Betong, a district of Yala, is on the border with Malaysia, it has become a channel for border trade. Its major export item is natural rubber. Betong is also a major tourist town, with several natural attractions and cool weather all year round. In 2011, Betong welcomed 258,261 visitors, an increase of 6.8 percent. Foreign visitors come mainly from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and China.

A small airport is being built in Betong that can accommodate 150 passengers an hour. It is likely to open in the 2015 fiscal year, in time for the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

About 85 percent of local residents are Muslims, who also use the local Malay dialect for communication in their daily life. They are engaged mainly in rubber planting. Apart from natural rubber, other cash crops in Yala include fruit, especially durian, longkong, mangosteen, rambutan, and “Shogun” orange, which is recognized as an orange variety of excellent quality.

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