Thailand: commission recommends use of Pattani dialect of Malay

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Jun 7 12:46:36 UTC 2006

Government policy architect to implement NRC peace proposals

BANGKOK, June 6 (TNA) -

A long-awaited report and proposals from the independent commission
studying the resurgent violence in Thailand's southernmost border
provinces have been referred to as one of the government's chief
architects of its existing policy, a police general widely perceived as
being 'hard-line' in response to the unrest.  Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya, who is
also Minister of Justice, to address the ongoing insurgency in Thailand's
three Muslim-majority provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala by
implementing some of the measures recommended by Thailand's National
Reconciliation Commission (NRC), Government Spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee
said Tuesday.

He said the prime minister's policy is that "anything deemed possible"
according to the NRC recommendation should be implemented immediately,
while other proposed measures that require the enactment of legislation
before being implemented must await the parliament's handling. The NRC on
Monday submitted its report with proposals to resolve the southern unrest,
including setting up a Peaceful Strategic Administrative Centre and a
Development Council for the Southern Border Provinces, two new bodies to
administer and manage the troubled region.

Among other measures, the commission recommended introduction of Islamic
'Shariya' law and overhauling the justice system, as well as using the
Pattani dialect of the Malayu language (Yawi) as a language and cultural
resource to reduce the communication barriers between villagers and local
authorities. Dr. Surapong said the prime minister also asked Gen. Chidchai
to work closely with the Independent Commission on Justice and Civil
Liberties for the Southern Border Provinces chaired by former parliament
president Ukrit Mongkolnavin and keep him updated of progress of the
implementation.  (TNA)-E009

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