Thaksin: Jobs a solution to unrest

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday his government wants to create new jobs in Thailand's Muslim-dominated south to help halt violence that has gripped the region. 

Returning from his third trip to the south in as many months, Thaksin said his priority was raising living standards in the region, which has been rocked by unrest since January that has claimed at least 60 lives. 

“During next Tuesday's Cabinet meeting I will focus on job creation, the selection of government officials who really want to work there, and the budget to invest there,” he said.  

Thaksin said the ongoing violence had driven both investment and tourists away from the region, further exacerbating the south's economic woes. 

Meanwhile, Thailand is moving ahead with plans to build security fences along parts of its southern border with Malaysia in a bid to stop militants blamed for attacks in the region, Thaksin said yesterday. 

The fences would cover remote sections of the 650-km border in an effort to cut suspected escape routes used by militants. Thailand would consult Malaysia on the fence issue, said Thaksin. – AFP/Reuters  

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