Autonomy for Thai south?
Wed, Oct 28, 2009

BANGKOK, THAILAND - THAILAND'S prime minister backed on Tuesday a suggestion by his Malaysian counterpart to grant autonomy to the insurgency-hit Thai south, as five more people were killed in the Muslim-majority region.

Mr Abhisit Vejjajiva said he would discuss the plan for the restive southern provinces on the Malaysian border when Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Thailand in December.

Mr Najib said in a newspaper interview published on Monday that Thailand should offer 'some form' of autonomy to the region, where more than 3,900 people have been killed since separatist violence erupted in January 2004.

In response, Mr Abhisit said: 'That's the right approach. My government is working to make it materialise and in early December I and my Malaysian counterpart will visit the southern region.'

Malaysia's Mr Najib told Thai English-language daily The Nation that 'you may not want to call it autonomy but there could at least be some form of involvement'.

'It is Thailand's decision to consider how far such autonomy in the deep south should go, and Malaysia, as a neighbour, would not intervene in the matter,' he was quoted as saying.





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