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Thailand happy for Malaysia to facilitate peace talks for South

The authorities have agreed to let Malaysia continue to facilitate the peace dialogue with deep South separatists - including representatives of Barisan Revolusi Nasional - which could lead to the ratification of an agreement and the joint preparation of a peace roadmap.

Internal Security Operations Command spokesman Colonel Banphot Poonpian yesterday revealed the resolutions made at a meeting on Friday of the committee charged with mobilising efforts to solve problems in the southern border provinces.

Banphot said that during the meeting chaired by deputy Army chief General Udomdej Sitabutr, Isoc proposed four working committees be established to prepare measures to solve the unrest, which was re-ignited in January 2004, and provide a plan to propel the peace dialogue.

He said Malaysia would again be asked to be the facilitator in the talks, but admitted the talks would not lead to autonomy for the region or the establishment of a special administrative zone.

It was hoped the talks would lead to the ratification of an agreement when the dialogue reached an "appropriate level" and the joint preparation of a peace roadmap.

Banphot said the fiscal 2015 budget for solving problems and developing the southern border provinces from 2015-17 was also discussed on Friday.

He said the urgent issues to be focused on first were the creation of a safe and peaceful society in the region; facilitating matters for people's seeking justice; the promotion of a better understanding of and solutions to conflicts; and improving the quality of life.

Also approved at the meeting were security measures that included an improvement of the human and vehicle registration system and leniency for motorists not wearing helmets in the city area.

In related news, Yala Governor Dejrath Simsiri yesterday presented almost Bt763,000 to 49 people whose properties were damaged in the recent car bomb attack in Betong district.

Betong police superintendent Colonel Wasan Poungnoi said police had issued an arrest warrant for a man who hired the van used in the attack.


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