From the Thai-language press: Thairath editorial: Dialogue is not bad - October 12, 2005
It is not clear if PM Thaksin Shinawatra is afraid
Malaysia will become involved in the three southern
border provinces making it a problem between nations
or if he is afraid to lose prestige. For whatever
reason, he denied to open a dialogue with Malaysia
that was proposed by the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia
and said he has no agenda to ask for cooperation in
solving the problem.
Although Thai government always confirms the unrest
in the south is a domestic problem, solving the problem
will not succeed if we do not get cooperation seriously
and sincerely from Malaysia. This is because our border
connects to Malaysia and both peoples have similar
nationality, language, religions, and relationships
as we often visit to each other.
But when the misunderstanding happened when 131 Muslims
fled to Malaysia, both governments should have a quiet
dialogue and not necessary argue back and forth.
The Thai government should thank Mr. Anand Panyalachun,
Chairperson of the National Reconciliation Commission,
who used his status as a former of PM and old diplomatic
agent to privately discuss with PM Badavi and Ex-PM
Mahathir at Kuala Lampur and get confirmation that
Malaysia did not support the separatism.
It is normal that Thais may doubt, but the way that
the Defense Minister accused Mahathir as being a backer
of the separatists should have been considered in
a circumspect manner. Mahathir was Malaysian PM for
20 years and the southern situation was at peace.
Recently Mahathir also condemned the bombs at Bali
saying it was not the Islam way and this damages Islam.
We have to understand Malaysia has a problem with
Muslim violence as well. The UMNO Party of the government
is opposed to the opposition PAS party and it is the
government that governs Kalantan State that is next
to Thailand. The PAS Party wants to govern with the
Islam way but UMNO separates the religious domain
from the state and controls religious teaching so
it will not incite violence.
Dialogue with Malaysia is not bad. On the contrary,
it makes a closer relationship, more understanding,
In the past, our government cooperated to solve unrest
in the south. The best example is the solving of the
Malaya Communist Terrorist Party or, as we call it,
the Chinese Thief Communist Movement.
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