Stemming resentment at its roots in Pattani

Economic development aims to ease tension in troubled Pattani

NATURAL BEAUTY: A view of Pattani Bay. The scenery leaves visitors wondering what Pattani could have been without the violence that has scarred the region. (Photos and video by Patpon Sabpaitoon)

Travelling along the route from Hat Yai in Songkhla to Pattani, one cannot help but notice the stark contrast between the two provinces -- with packed buildings slowly vanishing into a verdant landscape of forests stretching endlessly along the road, and houses coming into view only once in a while.

It took around one and a half hours to travel from Hat Yai International Airport to Pattani. In Pattani, the scenery is no different from what one can see elsewhere in rural areas throughout Thailand.

The district that connects Songkhla and Pattani is Nong Chik, an agricultural town in Pattani province. This tiny town, which also stretches along the Gulf of Thailand, has been chosen as one of the three focal areas of the government's development scheme designed to uplift the condition of locals in the southern border provinces.

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