A group of rights activists held a protest outside the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha arrived for an official visit.
Prayuth arrived yesterday morning for the several-hour visit, his first to Thailand’s southern neighbor since the former military chief seized power in a May coup, prompting activists to hold a protest to make Malaysia pressure Prayuth to return democracy to Thailand.
“Thailand has been a model for democracy for many years. And we have always celebrated the few democracies in ASEAN that have worked,” a protester told Channel News Asia. “But this is another shocker that the military has taken over, in the guise of improving democracy, but we don’t believe so.”
Prayuth held talks with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak to discuss the deadly Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand along their shared border.
Prayuth’s regime has said it wants to restart Malaysia-hosted peace talks between Thailand and Muslim rebels that began under the previous Thai government of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, whom Prayuth deposed.
Those talks made little headway, and eventually collapsed last year as Yingluck’s government became engulfed by a political crisis that ultimately led to the coup.
Prospects for a resumption of the dialogue now look slim following deadly post-coup militant attacks in southern Thailand and a subsequent fresh security crackdown, AFP and Channel News Asia reported.
Photos: Wassana Nanuam
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