Thai activist’s wife to join peace deal meeting with insurgents

By Supitcha Rattana and Anapat Deechuay (The Nation) | Source: ANN

Angkhana Neelaphaijit, wife of missing Muslim lawyer Somchai, has agreed to join the National Security Council team at its meeting on Thursday with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, while National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew has assigned the Special Branch commander to be an observer.

NSC secretary general Paradorn Pattanatabut said yesterday that the list of the 15 Thai representatives would be completed today, but would be kept a secret for awhile due to safety concerns. No political groups would be participating on the Thai side. Six or seven members would come from state agencies and the others from the civil sector, including religious leaders and academics.

Confirmation might still be coming from other separatist groups, including Pulo, for the talks.

Angkhana, chairwoman of the Working Group for Justice and Peace, had been approached about being a part of the dialogue.

She said the reduction of violence in the restive south, especially attacks against “weak targets” and bombings in urban areas, would be tabled at this session, after which they would wait and see the results as well as the trend for further talks.

The justice process during this transitional period should also be raised. The pardoning of convicts or those wanted on national security charges should be implemented carefully and fairly, while ensuring justice for the families of victims, especially women and children.

Other issues to be thrashed out were justice, the economy and security for the life and property of the “weak target” groups. Her own group had gathered some data in the region from about 200 seminars, she added.

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