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Peace talks held in Phuket with Islamist rebel group

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Photo by BRN Barisan Revolusi National

Leaders of the Islamist rebel group Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani joined a peace dialogue panel in Phuket with the secretary-general of Thailand’s National Security Council, Wanlop Raksanoh, to discuss solutions to the religious separatist insurgency by the Malaysian border.

The panel was held at Le Meridian Phuket Beach Resort and lasted from Saturday to Sunday. Also present at the panel was army commander Lieutenant General Kriangkai Srirak. The general reported that both sides are committed to finding peace, and have been determined to continue talks despite increased border restrictions due to Covid. He said both parties were friendly with one another.

The panel focused on reducing violence, discussions with local people, and seeking a solution that will satisfy the needs of the people in the area. The next focus was creating a framework to structure the discussion based on these three main issues. The last area of focus was on reducing violence in Thailand’s Deep South, where Islamist separatist groups have often violently clashed with Thailand’s military. This violence heightened in 2004 when 7,000 people were killed. General Wanlop said further peace talks are hoped to continue in the future.

SOURCES: Pukhet News| The Diplomat| Bernama

 

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