Malaysia and ASEAN should send fact-finding missions into the escalating
violence and bloodshed in South Thailand, and in particular the deaths of at
least 84 protestors in Narathiwat
by Lim Kit Siang
(Parliament House, Wednesday): Malaysia and ASEAN should send fact-finding missions on the escalating violence and bloodshed in South Thailand and in particular the deaths of at least 84 protestors in Narathiwat.
It is clear that the Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is not winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the people in the three provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, as even before the shocking number of deaths with 78 said to have died of suffocation after being taken into custody, more than 400 lives had been lost this year in clashes between Islamist militants and security forces in Thailandís Muslim majority southern provinces.
Thaksin should welcome such fact-finding missions by Malaysia and ASEAN and should not regard them as intrusions or interference with Thai domestic affairs, especially as continuing turmoil, violence and bloodshed in South Thailand is bound to impact adversely on Malaysia as the closest neighbour as well as on the international credibility of ASEAN.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman