Thailand launches TV channel geared for Muslims

AP News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2013 6:06 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand's government has launched the first Malay-language television channel geared toward the insurgency-plagued south's Muslim-majority audience.

Muslims in Thailand's southernmost Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat say they are treated as second-class citizens by predominantly Buddhist Thai authorities.

More than 5,000 people have been killed there since an Islamic insurgency flared in 2004. Some militants, mainly ethnic Malays, have called for a separate Muslim state.

Project supervisor Chamroon Den-udom said Thursday that the new channel would foster an understanding between Malay Muslims and Thai Buddhists in the region.

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The "TV Malayu" satellite television station will initially offer a half-hour of news programming a day before broadcasting for 24 hours a day starting next year.