Veera Prateepchaikul (''Even Blair, Annan cannot save assembly'', Opinion, Aug 12), asks if there is any point inviting international figures to share their experiences of conflict resolution given the likelihood that local politicians will ignore their advice. Though I share Khun Veera's reservations, I think there is still a good reason to proceed.
Reconciliation is fundamentally important to the nation's future, too important to be left solely in the hands of politicians. A forum such as this could help to inform the public and encourage their participation in the debate. As Achara Ashayagachat pointed out in her opinion piece on Tuesday (''South wasn't ready for megaphone peace talks''), though the talks with the BRN failed, they have had ''a concrete and irreversible impact'' by raising public awareness of the true nature of the southern conflict and making it permissible to discuss different forms of autonomy, a subject that was previously considered largely taboo.
If the guidelines given by the international figures generate similar public awareness and discussion, they will serve a useful purpose regardless of the reaction of politicians.
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