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Monday November 27, 2006

Mukhriz: More time needed to bring peace to southern Thailand


PATTANI: Efforts to broker peace in the predominantly Thai Muslim provinces of southern Thailand needs more time and cohesion before it can bear fruit. 

Perdana Peace Global Organisation executive director Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, who said this, added that his father (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) is still keen to help out in the peace process including moving into the second phase of peace talks preferably in a neutral country. 

“The talks can be held anywhere. We are prepared to mediate for both sides (Thai militant groups and Thai military) including in Brunei,” Mukhriz said after laying the foundation stone for a RM500,000 mosque named “Mesjid Aman” in Pasir Jawa, Telubon here. 

Present were Thai honorary consul in Langkawi Datuk Shazry Eskay Abdullah and local Thai officials. 

Perdana through Dr Mahathir was involved in informal peace talks with recognised Thai militant groups such as the Pattani United Liberation Front (Pulo) since Dec, last year. 

Mukhriz is of the view that the peace process will take a long time but remains optimistic with the attitude of the new Thai military junta government which has shown strong commitment towards resolving the unrest which has lingered for the past three years leaving over 1,700 Thais dead. 

Perdana was waiting for feedback from the present Thai Government over a list of demands made by the militants as a prelude towards formal peace talks to seek an end to the unrest.  

He said both Thai and Malaysian Governments could play a vital role in brokering peace provided there was a strong political will to end the conflict. 

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