Military involvement in industrial development approved – to revive economy in 5 southern provinces

Military involvement in industrial development approved - to revive economy in 5 southern provinces - Chalerm says he may go to Denmark to talk to leading insurgents - translated and summarized from Matichon, March 22, 2008
At yesterday’s meeting of a government special committee - chaired by Prime Minister & Defense Minister Samak Sundaravej - to consider the development of the southern provinces, committee members approved a policy to allow the military to cooperate with industry in the setting up of new industrial enterprises in the region. It is believed that this move could help to develop the flagging economies of five southern provinces: Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Satun. The Southern Border Provinces Administration Center (SBPAC) has proposed a ratio of 9:3:3:5 for the proportion of investment that the military will make in Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla Provinces respectively.
The approved plan for military and industrial cooperation envisages that the military will hold a 51% share in any new company start-up, with the remaining 49% held by private investors. The plan will be entitled ‘3+4’, which indicates that it will cover 3 southern provinces (Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani) and 4 districts of Songkhla Province.
Police Captain Chalerm Yoobamrung - the Interior Minister - also talked about the possibility of negotiations with southern insurgent organizations. Chalerm said the overtures towards such a meeting were proceeding well. He also urged exiled insurgents to return to Thailand to fight lawsuits filed against them, and guaranteed that provisions would be made for their personal security. He added that exiled insurgents in Sweden had told him that they favored holding any future talks with the Thai Government in Denmark
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