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RE: Economic zone plan for South

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  • Ekkarin Tuansiri
    Economic zone plan for South Special area to cover 5 border provinces POST REPORTERS The five southernmost provinces will be designated as a special economic
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 24, 2006

      Economic zone plan for South

      Special area to cover 5 border provinces


      The five southernmost provinces will be designated as a special economic development zone after the cabinet agreed to the new proposal, Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont said yesterday. He said there will be special organisations in charge of economic development plans for the five provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Songkhla and Satun, so as to revitalise the local economy that has been affected by insurgency.

      New regulations concerning tax measures will also be put in place in the special zone, he said.

      Gen Surayud said the cabinet agreed to a division of labour to boost efficiency in a bid to end violence in the region, adding that the government will oversee policy and evaluation while the military, under the command of Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, will act as the operating force.

      The Internal Security Operations Command's unit under the Fourth Army will continue to oversee security in the area while the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre will function as a coordinator, he said.

      However, Gen Surayud again declined to elaborate on his earlier remarks suggesting restaurants in the ''Tom Yam Kung'' network in Malaysia were contributing funds to separatist movements in the deep South.

      He also played down concerns that the remarks had caused a rift between Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, saying he and Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had already discussed the issue and understood each other well following their telephone conversation on Wednesday. They agreed to collaborate to seek an end to the problem, Gen Surayud added.

      Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry has ordered the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to trace financial transactions of the Tom Yam Kung restaurants.

      A high-level source in the national police's forward operation centre, which operates in the deep South, also said his centre was aware of financial contributions to insurgent groups from restaurant networks in Malaysia.

      The source said police have learned that the leader of the Gerakan Mujahidin Islam Pattani (GMIP) separatist movement, known as Che Kumae Kute or Abdulraman Che Kumae Ahama, owns a Thai restaurant called Seafood Tomyam in Malaysia's Terengganu state.

      The source said many insurgency suspects have fled across the border to Malaysia reportedly to work in such restaurants, which are popular among Malaysians.

      It is estimated that there are nearly 100,000 such restaurants in northern Malaysia, owned by Thais or Malaysians.

      ''When those suspects were arrested for illegally entering Malaysia, they would be released if they showed their GMIP membership cards. As a result, most Thais working in Malaysia are members of separatist movements,'' said the source.

      In a related development, Malaysian police chief Tan Sri Musa Bin Dato Haji Hassan will today call on his Thai counterpart, Pol Gen Kowit Wattana, at the Royal Thai Police Office.

      It is anticipated that the Tom Yam Kung restaurant network issue will be on the meeting's agenda.

      Former Fourth Army commander Gen Kitti Rattanachaya said he believed that the operators of such restaurants no longer had anything to do with the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), most of whose leaders are living in exile.

      Gen Kitti said those restaurants had been forced in the past to pay ''protection fees'' to the Pulo, but that was a long time ago. ''The information about such links is not up-to-date,'' he said.

      Meanwhile, Asst Prof Chidchanok Rahimmula, a political science lecturer at Prince of Songkla University, urged the government to empathise with innocent Thais working in restaurants in Malaysia.

      ''From my interviews with them, they said only a handful of those workers are involved in such [separatist] movements, not all of them,'' Ms Chidchanok said. They needed to look for jobs in Malaysia because they could not find work at home, she said.

      From: Yam Bahadur Kisan <ybkisan@...>
      Reply-To: justpeaceinasia@yahoogroups.com
      To: justpeaceinasia@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [justpeaceinasia] Comprehensive Peace Accord Reached between CPN (Maoists) and Nepal Government
      Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 06:15:58 +0000 (GMT)

      KATHMANDU, Nov 22. The much awaited comprehensive peace agreement has been reached yesterday between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist) with commitment to transform ceasefire between Government of Nepal and CPN (Maoist) into sustainable peace.
      Under the article of the landmark accord- �3. Political - Economic - Social Transformation and Conflict Management� the statement describes that both the parties are in agreement to adopt some 13 points of policy and program for political-economic and social transformation and to affirmatively resolve existing conflict in the country.
      The following point (3.5) relates to address the problems related to Dalits:
      �3.5. To address the problems related to women, Dalit, indigenous people, Janajatis, Madheshi, oppressed, neglected, minorities and the backward by ending discrimination based on class, caste, language, sex, culture, religion, and region and to restructure the state on the basis of inclusiveness, democracy and progression by ending present centralised and unitary structure of the state.�
      Yam Kisan

      ____________ _________
      Mr. Yam Bahadur Kisan
      M.A., B.L. (Tribhuwan University, Nepal)
      Advocate, Supreme Court of Nepal
      Author / Researcher / Human Rights Activist and Christian Leader
      P.O.Box No : 21066
      Kathmandu, Nepal
      Phone : 0097712021175

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