Chalerm to meet former Malaysian PM on insurgency


BANGKOK, Jan 30 — Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung will travel to Malaysia’s Langkawi early next month to meet former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad to seek his advice on dealing with Thailand’s nine year insurgency in the far South.

Mr Chalerm said that he will visit Langkawi on Monday and Tuesday next week to meet Dr Mahathir and discuss cooperation between the two neighbouring countries to restore peace in Thailand’s southern border provinces.

The deputy premier, who has been assigned by the government to bring an end to the southern violence, said Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein will visit Thailand Feb 21 to discuss a plan to foster cooperation following his recent visit.

Mr Chalerm visited Malaysia January 8-10 and met with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Mr Hishammuddin.

The deputy prime minister reiterated that the Thai government would not talk directly with the insurgent groups but the talks would be done through representatives until a mutual conclusion is initially agreed, then further talks could continue.