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Secretary-General of Thailand's National Security Council, Paradorn Pattanathabutr, seated left, and chief of Thailand's National Revolution Front (BRN) liaison office in Malaysia, Hassan Taib (seated right), attend the signing ceremony of the general consensus document to launch a dialogue process for peace in the southern border provinces of Thailand, in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Government of Thailand has  signed a breakthrough deal with Malay Muslim of Patani freedom movement group  for the first time ever in the history  on Thursday 28 of  February  2013, agreeing to hold talks to end nearly a decade of  new phase of violence in the southern provinces of the  country  which killed more than 5,000 people. The agreement was announced in the city  of Kuala Lumpur,  between Thai authorities and the National Revolution Front- Patani freedom fighter group’s representative, known by its Malay-language initials, BRN. It is seen as a positive step, but is unlikely to immediately end the conflict because several other strong shadowy guerrilla movements also fighting in southern Thailand have yet to agree to talk.
The  agreement signed both by the  representative  of BRN and Thailand National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabutr which does not clarify the details was doubted and surprised by Thai public at large, majority of them do not agree with what the government is  trying  to fulfill , they believed that the government is raising the issue to international standard and facing the risk of losing a piece of land to the separatists while the Muslim Malay of Patani in 3 southern border provinces  and 4 districts of songkhla  are doubted in the sincerity of the Thai government in the talks.    A few of Academic persons and NGOs working on peace and justice praising the bold step taken by the Prime Minister of Thailand,  Miss Yingluck Shinawatra. The following are some of the opinion on the issue:-
Najib described the signing as "merely the starting point of a long process" because many issues have to be resolved, but added that it was a "solid demonstration of the common resolve to find and establish an enduring peace in southern Thailand."
"God-willing, we'll do our best to solve the problem. We will tell our people to work together," Hassan Taib, a Malaysian-based senior representative of the BRN, said after a brief signing ceremony with Lt. Gen. Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary general of Thailand's National Security Council
Yingluck said talks would be conducted "within the framework of the constitution" of Thailand to address the root causes of the unrest.
"I have to say we are seeing a better direction in solving the problem, and I consider it a good start," Yinguick said after meeting with Najib. "We need to move forward as soon as possible."
Sunai Phasuk, senior researcher on Thailand in Human Rights Watch's Asia division said  to Prachathai.com that  for the first time Thai government accepted the existence of BRN as one of the leading separatist group (fighting  for Independence of Patani) publicly and officially  and willing to enter the process of talk, he also praised Miss Yingluck Shinawatra on her brave decision on the issue.

The Flag of Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) formed around 1960,
"This is a welcome development," said Srisompob Jitpiromsri, a political scientist at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. "Not only that it is the first time the Thai government recognized the status of a separatist group, but also the process has included Malaysia as the facilitator of the talks, which will likely draw more participants in the peace process."
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiv said the government should exercise extreme caution before it enters into a formal agreement with any party.

"What is the role of Malaysia in this agreement? The government should be very careful because this is a very sensitive issue," Mr Abhisit said.

Fourth Army Area chief Lt-General Udomchai Thammasarorach said  This agreement is the government decision, the army had no any concern with it but open the channel for talk and welcome the separatist for  surrender if possible

National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabutr said the BRN is a group that Malaysia believes operates in the deep South."It's another attempt by the government to tackle the unrest. It does not mean the peace agreement will end the ongoing violence."


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