Tag Archives: southern regions

Thailand Denies Talks With Muslim Insurgents

Yesterday, we cited an Indonesian source which claimed there had been secret negotiations between the government of Thailand and Muslim insurgents in southern regions of the country. It now appears the Thai team that took part in discussions with insurgent representatives acted in a private capacity and were without any official government support. Former General Kwanchart Kiaharn led the talks as part of his effort to resolve the insurgency without resort to military action. There was also speculation those representing the Muslim militants were not even official representatives of the Muslim community.

Failure to pay attention to demands from Muslims in south Thailand to have their rights acknowledged has only resulted in an ongoing conflict for which there is not the slightest evidence it will soon conclude. The private initiatives should have been those of government.

Thailand Government Reaches Accord With Muslims

Thailand has witnessed a revolt in southern areas of the nation who are overwhelming Muslims and who have been demanding equal rights from the dominant majority who adhere to the Buddha religion. Thai leaders have been utilizing military action as a means of crushing the rebellion and the only result has been a rise in violence. The government of Indonesia agreed to host a peace conference which included representatives from southern Thailand and the Thai government. Both sides pledged to resolve their conflict in a peaceful manner. A spokesperson for the government emphasized, “we have made substantial progress during the negotiation with both sides expressing commitment to end the conflict.” The meeting was the first time these opposing forces ever sat down to discuss issues.

There is never a guarantee discussions will ever result in peaceful resolution of problems, but it at least ends violence and killing. Southern Thailand has witnessed violence against teachers and businessmen and innocent farmers by the Muslim insurgents. These discussions are a happy change from what has been done in the past.

Good News In Thailand-No Army Coup Planned!

The nation of Thailand has witnessed several efforts by its military over the years to exert its authority by overthrowing civiian governments. Army Chief Anupong Paochinda, assured the public on Saturday the army is not planning to tke over the government in the forseeable future. His comments came in response to those of Prime Minister Samak Sunaravej who warned there were conspirators planning to trigger unrest in the nation and use it as a pretext to take over the government. “Today some people hve not stopped. They are lobbying and meeting… They still believe that another coup is possible.”

There are several problems confronting Thailand, among them is the unrest in southern regions where a Muslim led insurgency has resulted in the deaths of at least 3,000. Hopefully, the army will focus on ways to handle the situation politically and economically rather than only relying on military force.