BANGKOK, March 25 — The Peace Dialogue Panel for the Southern Border Provinces of Thailand (PEDP) want all parties to stop violence throughout Ramadan this year to create a safe and prosperous atmosphere.
In a statement, PEDP — currently being led by General Wanlop Rugsanaoh — said the proposal was forwarded to the Malaysian Government’s Chief Facilitator for the Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue Process Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin to be conveyed to the National Revolutionary Front (BRN).
“The proposal to stop the violence during Ramadan aims to create a ‘positive and violence-free’ atmosphere throughout the month of Ramadan (starting on March 23 and expected to end on April 21).
“At the same time it allows people to practice religion safely,” added the statement.
The peace negotiation process between the Thai government and the BRN aims to find a solution to end the conflict.
Malaysia is the facilitator for the peace negotiation process to end the decades-long conflict that culminated in January 2004 in the southern provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and parts of Songkhla.
In addition, the PEDP also hopes that the discussion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Towards Peace (JCPP) will continue to end the violence in southern Thailand. It said the roadmap for 2023 – 2024 is the key to peace in southern Thailand.
The JCPP — seen as a ray of hope to resolve the regional conflict — was agreed upon in the 6th Official Meeting of the Peace Dialogue Process in Kuala Lumpur in February this year.
The 6th Official Meeting was the first meeting for Zulkifli — former Commander of the Armed Forces — after being appointed as Malaysia’s new facilitator for the peace dialogue process in southern Thailand effective January 1, 2023. He replaced Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor.
The Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue process between the Thai Government and the combatant groups is now entering its 10th year. The process started when Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister of Thailand at the time asked Malaysia to be a mediator in resolving the conflict in southern Thailand.