By Nakarin Chinworakomon
Shukri Hari, head of the Mara Patani discussion team, said that the group saw Udomchai’s refusal to confront the group’s dialogue panel on Sunday - but to meet Shukri personally and separately - as unacceptable and suspected “a hidden agenda”.
The group only learned about Udomdech’s change of plan when they and the Thai dialogue team arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday for the introductory meeting.
Later they said they were “disappointed with the attitude shown by the head of the Thai peace panel” and that his behaviour contradicted his earlier statement that he would hold respectful talks with all groups and stakeholders.
Mara Patani thus refused to join the Sunday meeting, suspended all talks until after the conclusion of Thailand’s March general election, and suggested the Thai government replace Udomchai with someone “more credible” if it wanted to find solutions to the unrest in the region.