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Peace Dialogues to End Southern Conflicts to Continue

May 12, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Secretary-General of the Office of the National Security Council Thawin Pleansri said that peace dialogues to end violence in the southern border provinces would continue, together with other operations.

Mr. Thawin, who was reinstated recently as the Secretary-General of the National Security Council, said that he would pursue peace talks with groups holding different views and ideologies to that of the state. 

The peace dialogues began on 28 March 2013 with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Coordinate (National Revolutionary Front), known in short as BRN. They followed the signing of the “General Consensus on Peace Dialogue Process” on 28 February 2013 by the Thai government, represented by the National Security Council, and BRN. The document came into existence with the active support of the Malaysian government, which acted as a facilitator. 

The current Southern Border Provinces Administration and Development Policy, 2012-2014, also seeks to pave the way for peace talks. An opinion poll, conducted in late 2013, showed that most local residents were in favor of dialogues for lasting peace in the deep South.

Violent incidents in the deep South of Thailand have been occurring for more than 10 years now. They have resulted in a great loss of life and property, damaged the local economy, and undermined public safety and national security. The three southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, and some districts of Songkhla became the scenes of violence, and the conflicts have dragged on to this day.

Apart from adopting the “politics leads the military” approach in peace-building operations in the South, all government agencies involved have also focused on a development-led approach in eradicating poverty and improving the people’s quality of life. Emphasis is also placed on ensuring justice and promoting the local way of living, culture, and identities.

The Internal Security Operations Command, which is in charge of security matters, has set six strategies for dealing with southern problems. The first strategy seeks to create better understanding between officials and local people and prevent villagers from being misled by ill-intentioned people. The second strategy involves human resource development to narrow social gaps.

The third strategy seeks to tackle problems concerning drugs, influential persons, and illegal businesses, so that they will not be used to create unrest. In the fourth strategy, officials will be provided with better understanding about human rights issues in order to prevent human right violations.

The fifth strategy involves law enforcement and the protection of people’s lives and property. In the sixth strategy, all sectors of society will be urged to join forces in improving the situation for lasting peace in the deep South.

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