( This is the English version of "MARA Patani bertemu OIC - satu penjelasan" published in the MARA Patani web page on 18 January 2016 http://www.suaramarapatani.org/2016/01/18/mara-patani-bertemu-oic-satu-p... )
MARA Patani met OIC - a clarification
On 10 January 2016 the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Coorpration(OIC), Dr. Iyad Ameen Madani unofficially met a delegation of MARA Patani in Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Madani was in transit on his working visit to this region.
The much "sensationalised" encounter stemmed from an informal peace dialogue process meeting between MARA Patani dialogue team with the Thais on 8 June 2015 . The head of Thai dialogue team, General Aksara Kerdphol, informed the meeting that his government has briefed the OIC of the peace dialogue and claimed that the OIC welcomes and supports the peace process.
Thus MARA Patani too feels it is vital that it should communicate with the organisation to inform, express its views and suggestions to the OIC .
After initial contact, the OIC agreed to invite a small MARA Patani delegation to its head quarters in Jeddah in mid December 2015. However, the OIC later informed that since the Secretary General is coming to this region soon for his working visit it was proposed that the meeting will be in Kuala Lumpur. All communications between MARA Patani and OIC were direct without the knowledge of the facilitator or through the government of Malaysia.
The OIC also informed MARA Patani that it would like to meet representatives of the CSOs and NGOs, who are not from MARA Patani, for their views regarding the peace process. Twenty names were sent and the OIC short-listed ten, out of whom only five turned up.
Prior to the actual meeting the small MARA Patani delegation met OIC officials in advance to make arrangements. No Malaysian officials were involved except those who work with the OIC. This has to be clarified because the Thais alleged that Malaysian government, especially the facilitator, helped to bring MARA Patani delegation to the OIC and arranged for the meeting in Kuala Lumpur. That is not true.Once again it is hereby ascertain that the meeting arrangement was only between the OIC and MARA Patani.
The informal meeting of the OIC and MARA Patani with the CSOs/NGOs on 10 January 2016 near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was shortly after the arrival of the OIC Secretary General from Jeddah. All sat and lunched together in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere. Dr. Madani had a friendly chat with the representatives of the CSOs/NGOs and asked each of them to brief him of their respective activities, their views of the peace process and their expectations from the OIC.
After lunch the OIC had a separate closed-door meeting with a delegation of MARA Patani led by its Chairman Mr. Awang Jabat. With him were Ustaz Shukri Hari, the MARA Patani dialogue chief, and seven other members making them nine altogether.
The closed-door meeting was also under a relaxed and cordial atmosphere. A member of MARA Patani briefed the OIC about the formation of MARA Patani, the meetings with the Thais and its expectation of the peace process. MARA Patani hopes for strong OIC support to mobilise the peace process through close cooperation with the governments of Thailand and Malaysia.
The OIC also stated its views and stance in this issue and that it has no intention to get directly involved in the process, since that role has already been well-performed by its strong member, Malaysia. The OIC emphasised its commitment to support the peace dialogue process through close cooperation with the governments of Malaysia and Thailand.
As a whole the meeting was very positive and satisfactory. It needs to stress here that the issue of observer status for MARA Patani in the OIC , as publicised and concerned by some, was never mentioned nor discussed. It was never an issue in MARA Patani's agenda. A strong and continuous support from the OIC for the peace process is sufficient.
The OIC delegation left for Bangkok in the evening after the meeting for an official visit to Thailand.
Reported by : Abu Hafez Al-Hakim - MARA Patani dialogue team member- outside the fence of Patani
14 Januari 2016 / 4 Rabiul Akhir 1437 H