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Former negotiator says peace in Thailand’s deep south can be reached with ongoing discussions

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A roadside bomb attack in Yala last month / Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์แม่หลวง ปัตตานี

With the ongoing violence from the religious separatist insurgency in Thailand’s deep south, a former member of the Thai negotiating team says the discussions between the government and Malay-Muslim dissidents need to continue to bring peace and unity.

The Southern provinces Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat near Malaysia have been plagued with violence for years. Since the separatist movement in Thailand’s deep south re-emerged in 2004, there have been 7,224 deaths and 13,427 injuries linked to the conflict from early 2004 to February 2021, according to the Deep South Watch Database.

Just last night, a 31 year old police officer in Yala was killed in an explosion after suspected militants threw a pipe bomb at a police observation post in the Raman district. Another officer, who is 29 years old, was injured in the blast.

Saturday morning in Pattani, 3 family members driving through the area were attacked by suspected insurgents. Shots were fired at the family’s car and a bullet hit the driver’s head, killing him. Reports say the attackers then poured petrol on the vehicle and set it on fire. One family member was able to flee the scene before the car erupted in flames.

Former deputy permanent-secretary for defence, Nipat Thonglek, who had served as an appointed member of the Thai negotiating team, says he’s optimistic about the process of achieving peace in the South. He says there must be ongoing discussions to reach resolutions and agreements.

“From my experience when I had the opportunity to attend meetings with these dissidents….. all want to see their people in the deep South enjoy a good quality of life and strong health so they will be better able to spend their lives normally… They want to see their children have a better education and their people get the sleep they need each night and have enough food to eat.”

In the past, Nipat had negotiated with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, an Islamic organisation in the area known as the leader of the Southern Thailand insurgency, to set up safety zones that were free from violence for 15 days. He says his work in the past set the basis for the government’s current plan to declare safety zones.

“I see the number of attacks and casualties is falling when compared with past years.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Slugger

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, I see a wish for peace amongst these ‘insurgents’ – not! Particularly after 17 years.
    Idiot.

  2. Gosport

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 8:34 pm

    I don’t see any terrorists seeking peace.

  3. Truth B. Told

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    The religion of peace ambushed a family out trying to make a living and then set their bodies on fire. Thailand has only one active conflict and yet they can’t contain the integrity of their southern border by doing what needs to be done.

  4. David

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 1:00 am

    I hope he’s right. Otherwise most people will avoid going to these areas and they will not achieve prosperity.

  5. Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:52 am

    See how reasonable the Thai authorities become when the citizens start shooting at them.
    There is a dictatorship in place. The P.M. was never voted in for anything. Protesters are in jail. But down in the south where citizens kill the Thai authorities, the puppets of the dictators say, There must be ongoing discussion to reach resolutions and agreements.
    I am not saying these Muslims are right or wrong, I do not know anything about the matter, but if these Muslims came to Bangkok and start peaceful protests waving banners, they would just be locked up. They will never win down there, but neither will they be oppressed.

  6. sam

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Peace will never be achieved unless the central government allows autonomy for the three provinces that were forcefully seized without agreement from their leaders.

  7. Alan

    Tuesday, June 8, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    The religion of peace was a fantasy that died an instant death when the prophet took up the sword.

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