PM Srettha to meet Malaysian PM for peace talks

Photo courtesy of Buletin TV3

Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced a high-stakes meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in a southern border province on August 3, though the exact location remains undecided.

The Thai premier hinted that Yala, Pattani, or Narathiwat could be the chosen venue.

“My team is making arrangements.”

While the specifics of the agenda are under wraps, the Bangkok-born PM suggested discussions might include negotiating peace with insurgent groups, a process Malaysia has been mediating.

In a separate yet significant move, PM Srettha revealed plans to visit Udon Thani to observe anti-drug trafficking operations. He will be accompanied by National Police Chief Police General Torsak Sukvimol. This visit follows a detailed discussion on various issues with Torsak, including the crackdown on narcotics smuggling, contraband, and online gambling.

Torsak’s career has seen turbulent times, reinstated by the Thai prime minister after a suspension earlier this year. His deputy, Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn, aka Big Joke, wasn’t as fortunate, dismissed in April over alleged ties to an online gambling network.

This dismissal led former National Police Chief, Pol. Gen. Seripisut Temiyavej, to file a lawsuit against the Thai PM, accusing him of unlawfully appointing Torsak. However, the lawsuit was quickly withdrawn amidst rumours of intervention by former Prime Ministers Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra.

When questioned about these rumours, PM Srettha denied any discussions with Thaksin or Yingluck and stated he did not know Seripisut personally.

Additionally, the 62 year old Thai PM addressed concerns over the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) potentially lacking funds to support the government’s ambitious 500-billion baht digital wallet scheme.

He assured that the committee overseeing the project is in close contact with the BAAC and that it is standard procedure to seek the Council of State’s opinion on financial allocations, reported Asia News Network.

“We seek the Council of State’s opinion on every issue anyway.”

In related news, the Malaysian government appointed a new mediator for the peace process in southern Thailand. This comes amid urgent calls for a reassessment of the peace roadmap following a surge in violence that has shattered public confidence.

Politics NewsSouth Thailand NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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