Prominent Muslims among advisers on Thailand's south

Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) - Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung on Tuesday appointed nine advisers, including prominent Muslims, aiming to solicit "fresh ideas" on how to bring peace to Thailand's south where Muslim insurgents are fighting for a separate state.

The advisers, including Wan Muhamad Noor Matha, Areepen Utarasint and Najmuddin Uma, are prominent Muslims from the Wadah faction of the Pheu Thai Party.

"These advisers are local Muslims and I have close ties with them, therefore I want to sound out their ideas," Chalerm said.

He said he would hold an informal meeting with the advisers next week. He said he might also invite them to meet and talk with his panel members in charge of the strifetorn region.

The deputy prime minister said the government was on the right track with its counter-insurgency strategy.

Reacting to his appointment, Najmuddin said Chalerm offered him the job last week.

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