11 July 2024

Civic groups in restive Deep South are calling for parallel peace talks, between the government and the people and people to people, to run alongside the government-Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) negotiations, to find a political solution to the decades-long violent conflict.

Fa-id Krasi, of the Fa Sai Association to Promote Peace Among Youth, said that more space should be open for parallel peace talks, because conflict remains between the government and the people and among the people themselves.

Rujirada Wongkaew, another youth leader in the Deep South, said that some of the violence in the region stems from mistrust and misunderstanding between various groups of people.

Chief of the Thai delegation to the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday and Wednesday, Chatchai Bangchuad, said that the government does not block the people from expressing their views on the southern conflict, but would prefer a  more appropriate forum for them to participate in finding peace in the region.

He indicated that a public forum will be opened in the future, in which all stakeholders will be able to participate.

The Thai government and the BRN agreed to endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan toward Peace (JCPP) “at the earliest opportunity” after the two-day talks in KL this week.

The roadmap focusses on cessation of violence, public consultation with stakeholders and finding a political solution to the conflict.