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.