Military reaches for ‘hearts and minds’ of southern youth

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Thirty-five youngsters from Thailand’s three troubled Southern Thailand provinces got away from the turmoil for an excursion with the Royal Thai Marines in Sattahip.

The ongoing “Rumjai Project” aims to persuade southern youth that the military – which has killed more than 4,000 mostly Muslim Thais since 2004 to put down a separatist insurgency – is not their enemy.  Living together in harmony and ending violence was the message.

Rear Adm. Traikwan Krairuek and navy personnel pose with the children from the south in front of the Royal Thai Marines monument. Rear Adm. Traikwan Krairuek and navy personnel pose with the children from the south in front of the Royal Thai Marines monument.

The students began their trip with a visit to the Marine Military Museum at Prince Chumphon Camp, followed by a lecture on the history and mission of the Marine Corps.

Marines Chief of Staff Rear Adm. Traikwan Krairuek said the event also included activities to instill a positive attitude, foster cooperation with the military and win the “hearts and minds” of the younger generation.

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