10 March 2009

Consulting youth on peace: children's hopes for peace in Thailand's deep south

Primary school children pray in front of their classroom at a school in Pattani Province. © UNICEF Thailand/2008/Athit Perawongmetha

Story by Nattha Keenapan

(The story was published in Outlook, Bangkok Post on 9 March 2009)

 SONGKHLA, Thailand – The large, colorful drawing shows a monk, an Imam and Buddhist and Muslim citizens holding hands in a loving community where a mosque and a temple stand side by side. Beside them are Buddhists and Muslims praying for peace in Thailand’s violence-ridden southern border provinces.

The drawing, created by a group of Muslim children living in the restive south, represents their hope for an end to the violence in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces that has claimed the lives of more than 3,000 people since early 2004.