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Thai PM Vows To Develop Economy In Deep South

News From : DagangHalal.com (14 Jun 2009)

BANGKOK, June 14 (Xinhua) — Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Sunday pledged to push forward the economic development plan in the violence-ridden deep South as a way to bring peace there.

In an interview by a Bangkok Post reporter, the prime minister said the government hopes to improve the economy in the deep South, which includes mainly the three southernmost provinces Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat as well as some parts of Songkla province, so as to root out the violence and insurgency there, during which more than 3,500 people have been killed since 2004.

Abhisit said that the insurgents have threatened to interrupt the economic development scheme, but he called on the public in the South not to cooperate with them.

In the interview, Abhisit declined to discuss the feasibility of setting up a special administrative zone in the deep South, as the local people have been talking about, citing that Thai constitution forbids the separation of the kingdom’s soil.

An special economic zone, however, may be appropriate to the South, said the prime minister.

Under the plan with a budget of 63 billion baht ( about 1.85 billion U.S. dollars), the Finance Ministry has proposed some sectors in the deep South with economic potential, including the halal food, rubber, palm, and fishery, Abhisit said.

Abhisit’s remarks came days after a mosque massacre in the deep South, in which six gunmen fired on worshippers on Monday night, killing 10 and injuring 12.

About the massacre, he said the government has not finalized who did it, but the local police has been urged to investigate the case.

Source:Xinhua News Agency

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