Southern peace talks put off until poll

Southern peace talks put off until poll

Chief of the Thai negotiating team, Gen Udomchai Thammasaroraj (left) shakes hands with Malaysian chief facilitator Abdul Rahim Noor, as peace talks for the far South resumed in Bangkok on Jan 4, 2019. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Chief of the Thai negotiating team, Gen Udomchai Thammasaroraj (left) shakes hands with Malaysian chief facilitator Abdul Rahim Noor, as peace talks for the far South resumed in Bangkok on Jan 4, 2019. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Mara Patani, the umbrella organisation that has been engaging in peace dialogue with the government, on Sunday announced it would suspend meetings until after the general election in March.

Ustaz Shukri Hari, head of the Mara Patani dialogue panel, said the group was disappointed with Gen Udomchai Thammasaroraj's attitude as it appeared to contradict his earlier statement that he would engage in dialogue and respect all groups and stakeholders.

Mr Shukri was referring to a meeting on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur in which both Mara Patani and Thai dialogue teams participated.

"However we were informed that the head of the Thai panel, Gen Udomchai, would not attend. He would only meet me personally and separately.

"Mara Patani sees this refusal to confront the Mara Patani dialogue team as unacceptable and suspects there is a hidden agenda as to why he only wanted to meet me,'' Mr Shukri said.

Mr Shukri said the group decided not to participate in Sunday's meeting and would suspend all further meetings until after the poll in a show of its discontent.

It said it would also request that Gen Udomchai be replaced in his role as peace talk negotiator.


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