NSC prepares fresh peace plan in South
Chief dismisses 'old' Thaksin proposals
National Security Council (NSC) chief Supoj Malaniyom said a new plan to solve the conflict in the deep South will be launched next year while dismissing proposals from ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra as nothing new.
Gen Supoj said the NSC has tried finding ways to end the southern unrest for almost 20 years.
"What the government is trying to do now is the best approach. The government is trying to put in place sustainable solutions, uphold territorial integrity and ensure harmony among religions. This is in line with the constitution and this is clearly the government's policy," Gen Supoj said.
Regarding Thaksin's proposals including one to designate the three southern border provinces -- Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat -- as a special administrative zone, Gen Supoj said: ''Anyone can propose anything. But we've already thought of it."
He said that the agency is finalising details of a new plan to end the unrest from 2023-2027, and when the cabinet approves it, details will be given.
"It takes into account all dimensions of the problem and we have chosen the best solutions," Gen Supoj said.
Refuting Thaksin's criticism that huge amounts of money have been spent on failed attempts to restore peace, Gen Supoj said budget planning was well thought-out and when obstacles emerge, it is subject to review. He said the government is still working with Malaysia to tackle the southern problem.
On Sunday, Thaksin took part in an online seminar organised by The Motive, a media and civic organisation based in the deep South.
Thaksin said that hundreds of billions of baht have been spent on military operations in the South but no desirable results have been achieved while many soldiers have lost their lives on duty.
Money should be spent on development with participation from all sectors, he said while also proposing that the region be designated a special administrative zone.
"If all sides sit down for talks and put less emphasis on the security side of the issue and focus more on economic development and improving education, I believe people in the three southern border provinces will be happy and have a better future,'' Thaksin said.
- deep South