VIENTIANE (Reuters) - Thailand and Malaysia will discuss plans to build a wall along their shared border, Thai officials said on Thursday, a day before Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is set to meet his counterpart in Bangkok. People-trafficking and the smuggling of drugs and weapons are among the transnational crimes that have flourished along the 640-km (398-mile) Thai-Malay border, until a crackdown by Thailand last year disrupted regional trafficking routes. Najib is to meet Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on an official visit that will focus on security cooperation and investment. The wall is on the agenda for the meeting, said a Thai foreign ministry official. "It will be on the agenda during Najib's visit, but it will not be the biggest item on the agenda," foreign ministry spokesman Chinawut Setawat told Reuters at a regional meeting in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. "It is still at the memorandum of understanding phase," said Colonel Yutthanam Petchmuang, a spokesman for Thailand's Internal Security Operations Command. Malaysia's foreign ministry did not respond to a request from Reuters for comment. Najib's visit follows three deadly bomb attacks in southern Thailand over the past month, including a wave of bombs in tourist towns in August that Thai police have linked to Muslim separatists operating in the country's south. The porous Thai-Malay border has also been a site for the smuggling of weapons, drugs and illegal oil. After taking power in a May 2014 coup, Thailand's junta promised what it called a "zero tolerance" policy of human trafficking and launched a nationwide crackdown on vice and crime. In January 2004, a shadowy separatist insurgency by ethnic Malays resurfaced in Thailand, after simmering for decades. Since then, 6,500 people have been killed, says Deep South Watch, a body that monitors the violence. Thailand's three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat were once part of an independent Malay Muslim sultanate until they were annexed by Thailand in 1909. Two issues in particular have spurred the interest of Malaysia and Thailand in building a border wall, said Srisompop Jitpiromsri, director of Deep South Watch. "The first is to stop the flow of illegal goods, whether it is petrol, drugs or human trafficking," he told Reuters. "The second reason is that insurgents operating in Thailand regularly cross the border and use Malaysia as a safety base." Yet it remains unclear how far the wall will reduce crime. "There are still many logistical issues to address before building the wall," Srisompop said. "It's a tremendously long area." (Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre in Vientiane; Additional reporting by Cod Satrusayang in Bangkok; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Men's Health
Steve, 35, from Scarborough in the UK reacts to seeing himself without his full face and head tattoos for the first time in 20 years on webseries Transformed.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The fish are prized among fisherman – but very few have seen one like this.
- NY Daily News
9-year-old Brooklyn girl cried ‘Mommy, help me,’ as she died after hours of beatings and abuse: prosecutors
“Mommy, help me,” 9-year-old Shalom Guifarro begged as she lay dying in her family’s Brooklyn apartment, after enduring hours of abuse — allegedly at the hands of the same person the child wished would save her. The heartbreaking details of the little girl’s final hours were detailed by prosecutors at her mother Shemene Cato’s arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday, where she was ...
"Dammit. It better not be fake. It might be fake," the popular podcaster blurted in an awkward moment that's gone viral.
- Ukrayinska Pravda
DENYS KARLOVSKYI In captured Melitopol, the Ukrainian resistance movement has managed to blow up a Russian armoured train as it was transporting soldiers and equipment. Source: local media; Mirror of the Week, quoting the Defence Headquarters of the Zaporizhzhia region Details: Eyewitnesses in Melitopol reported hearing explosions and gunfire in the area of the meat-packing plant.
- Business Insider
After multiple claims that Putin may be suffering seriously from cancer, Insider compiled a 10-year timeline of the Russian president's health.
The North Carolina congressman, who lost his primary bid Tuesday, joked about Cheney's removal as chair of the House Republican Conference in 2021.
- Nets Wire
Bleacher Report has a blockbuster trade idea for the Brooklyn Nets involving Ben Simmons.
Amber Heard said James Franco made a late-night visit to her apartment after a fight with Johnny Depp because she 'exhausted' her support network
She said she "exhausted my support network with my usual friends, and I was happy to welcome as much friendship at that time as I could possibly get."
Yesterday, MSN tweeted an article stating, “Prince William and Kate Middleton separate as Duchess moves out with children.” The story is false. Here’s what happened.
A former choir teacher of a local high school is facing criminal charges after court documents say she had an inappropriate relationship with a student.
- Town & Country
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Princess Alexandra stepped in for Queen Elizabeth at the second Buckingham Palace Garden Party of 2022.
- Nets Wire
Kevin Durant tweeted in response to Patrick Beverley's nuclear NBA commentary on ESPN.
- Rolling Stone
The former president's endorsement didn't do much for Janice McGeachin's bid to unseat incumbent Brad Little in Idaho's gubernatorial primary
Moments after Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tied the knot he said, 'We're married now. I can punch her in the face and nobody can do anything about it,' a former friend of Heard's testifies
iO Tillett Wright on Tuesday said he witnessed Depp and Heard argue with each other but never saw either get physically violent with the other.
- Good Housekeeping
'Today' show fourth hour cohost Jenna Bush Hager shared footage of her hilarious wardrobe incident and fans shared their thoughts on Instagram.
Selena Gomez, who recently hosted Saturday Night Live, nailed her impression of Miley Cyus during her opening monologue
- Fox News
Bahamas Sandals deaths: Families of Americans found dead at resort ask for second autopsy, report says
The families of three Americans found dead on May 6 at Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Great Exuma, Bahamas, asked for a second autopsy, a report says.
- In The Know by Yahoo
Mom waits until son’s wedding day to reveal childhood gift’s ’embarrassing’ secret: ‘That was a plot twist’
This mother of the groom waited decades to reveal what was hidden within the rose he bought her when he was 10 years old.
A friend who witnessed Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's last fight said she shielded the actress with her body as he screamed at Heard and smashed things
Raquel Pennington said she never witnessed Depp assault Heard, but saw Heard injured multiple times after fights with Depp.