Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thailand - new approach to trouble in the south

Whatever one feels about the military coup in Thailand the new approach to dealing with the insurgency in the southernmost provinces is to be welcomed.

The new Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont has been on a visit to neighbouring Malaysia and has been discussing the problems of violence in the four southernmost provinces of Thailand which are nearest to Malayasia.

According to this report in The Nation Surayud signaled he will take a different approach on the crisis to the hardline stance of the ousted government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. "Let me explain my personal strategy of trying to solve the problems in the south, by peaceful means," he said after talks with Malaysian leaders."We will try to talk to a lot of people. Initially I told the Malaysian prime minister that I will talk to the Muslim leaders in the south, talk to kids in schools. So that is the way I'm trying to present myself, by way of talking."

The Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Razak said "In our meeting, the Thai PM has showed his dedication to solve the southern Thailand political issue. He will restore ties with Muslim leaders in southern Thailand and take steps to start a new administration there, retaining the old administration but with new adjustments".

Lets hope this works and a peaceful solution can be found

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