PM adheres to peaceful solutions for far South

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BANGKOK, Jan 28 – Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said he has adhered to peaceful solutions for the far South and has not set any timeframe limitation for its peace restoration process.

After chairing a meeting of the National Security Council at Government House today, Gen Prayut said the council resolved that southern solutions would adhere to peace-promoting strategies and refrain from suppressive military operations.

He said three committees were handling southern solutions at three levels. He referred to his policy-making committee, an implementation committee headed by army adviser and southern peace negotiation leader Gen Aksara Kerdpol, and a local committee headed by the 4th Army Area commander.

Problems in the far South would be solved in three stages, Gen Prayut said.

The first stage concerns the creation of understanding. Malaysia facilitates it by inviting concerned groups for discussions.

The second stage deals with creating trust. At this stage, there will be discussions with groups with different political stances and the ratification of a peace agreement. The third stage will be the implementation of an agreed peace restoration roadmap.

Gen Prayut said that the international community would be informed that situations in the far South were internal issues and sensitive matters of the followers of two religions.

“There cannot be a timeframe for the negotiation. It depends on when Malaysia can gather groups and make them ready for discussions. However, overall signs show improvement… Groups with different stances should come to the negotiating table rather than argue in the media. The issue will also be raised for discussion with the Malaysian defence minister who will visit Thailand tomorrow,” Gen Prayut said.