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Thai PM, religious leaders to discuss peace
Publication Date : 15-09-2012
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will meet religious leaders from different sects next week to discuss peace-building solutions for the Asean region and the restive South, the organiser of an international seminar said yesterday.
Religious leaders including representatives from the Muslim World League and Religion for Peace Inter-Religious Council are scheduled to meet the premier on Monday at her office to share views and perspectives on the role religion plays in the peace-building process.
The leaders will be in Thailand next week to attend an international seminar on religion and the peace-building process in Asean, said Parichart Suwanbubbha, director of Mahidol University’s Human Rights and Peace Studies Institute, which is organising the event.
Abdullah al-Turky Muhsin, secretary-general of the Muslim World League; Dr William F Vendley, secretary-general of the World Conference of Religions for Peace; and Somdej Phramaharajmangklajarn, member of the Sangha Council, will be among the leaders attending the seminar.
On Wednesday, Dr Ismail Lutfi Japakiya, rector of the Yala Islamic University as well as president of Religions for Peace Inter-religious Council of Thailand, will escort about 50 of the 200 participants to personally see the situation in the deep South. Since 2004, insurgency has killed more than 5,000 people.
Police Colonel Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre, is co-organising the seminar.
There are several on-going conflicts in the Asean region that affect believers of different religions, and the violence in the predominantly Muslim South of Thailand is one such problem.
These conflicts have created mistrust among people from different faiths and involved outsiders both nationally and internationally.
Religious leaders will issue a statement while in the South, expressing their views on the situation and possibly suggesting means to restore peace in the region, Suwanbubbha said.