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DEEP SOUTH
Thailand and Malaysia Hold Discussions on the Southern Situation

23 May 2017

The Commanding-General of the Fourth Army Area Command, Lieutenant General Piyawat Nakvanich, has led a delegation to visit Malaysia for discussions on efforts to ease violence in the deep South of Thailand.
 
Lieutenant General Piyawat on 22 May 2017 discussed Thai-Malaysian cooperation in the southern situation with Major-General Dato Mohd Ramli bin Jaafar, Commander of the Malaysian Second Infantry Division. He also had an audience with the Regent of the Sultan of Kelantan.
 
Lieutenant General Piyawat said that, during his visit to the state of Kelantan in Malaysia, the issue of violence in the southern border provinces was raised for discussion, especially the issue of persons holding different views to those of the state using local mosques to create unrest.
 
He said that Thailand and Malaysia were willing to conduct joint patrols along waterways to ensure safety for the people. They would also step up efforts to deal effectively with the drug problem. As for wrongdoers escaping from Thailand to Malaysia, he said that Malaysia would offer assistance to Thai authorities to handle this matter.
 
Lieutenant General Piyawat said that the discussions with Malaysia would contribute to the tackling of southern unrest. Kelantan shares its border with the deep South of Thailand. Officials of both countries have constantly held discussions and they have better understanding of each other.
 
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon recently inspected the southern situation and followed up on the progress of resolving problems in the southern border provinces. He found that all sectors in the deep South had worked together to reduce conditions that might lead to conflicts, especially social injustice.
 
In the overall picture, he said, more people who created unrest have given themselves up and reported themselves to the authorities. Most local people do not side with those who have created turmoil, as violent acts are unacceptable to everyone.
 
He urged security units and the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center to jointly make use of intelligence for more efficient operations and to expand the networks of people, so that more people would participate in handling the southern situation. All mechanisms available in the southern border provinces should also be used to prevent violent acts from taking place.
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