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Policy on solving Southern unrest unchanged


February 10, 2008

Policy on solving Southern unrest unchanged

The policy of the new Thai government toward solving the ongoing violence in the restive South will remain the same as what the previous government had undertaken, Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama said Saturday.

However, operations against the militants operating in the three troubled southern provinces – Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat – will become more intensive, said Mr. Noppadon.

He said he planned to travel to Kuala Lumpur soon to discuss with Malaysian government and seek cooperation from Malaysian authorities in solving the problems of violence in the deep South.

The Malaysian government has considered the problem a vital issue as it has said Thailand's security keeps Malaysia safe, Mr. Noppadon said. Some 2,800 people have been killed by militants in the deep South after renewed violence broke out in early January 2004.

Meanwhile, Suwit Khunkitti, deputy prime minister and industry minister, said his Puea Pandin Party would propose measures for solving the unrest in the restive South as part of the government's policy, scheduled to be presented to members of the House of Representatives on February 18.

Mr. Suwit said reconciliation measure, implemented by the previous military-installed government of Gen. Surayud Chulanont aimed at ending the almost daily violence in the region, would  continue to be used by the current government.

Courtesy TNA

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