Conflict and Fragile Conditions
Violent conflict and fragile governance present enormous challenges for development and security in Asia. In places where violence is widespread and government ceases to function, the pace of development falls dramatically and conditions can deteriorate to extreme levels. The Foundation supports local efforts to improve engagement between government and citizens; strengthens peacebuilding efforts and transitional institutions; and strengthens informal institutions that provide justice, stability, and services where the state has limited reach and/or legitimacy.
Our local office works with religious institutions and leaders to create positive change and encourage non-military solutions to resolve political and religious differences. We arranged exchange visits for religious leaders (Ulama), both men and women, from most of the country’s 34 provinces to visit moderate Muslim majority countries such as Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, and the UAE. The visits provide leaders with an opportunity to interact with their counterparts and learn how other religious leaders play positive roles in community development and dispute resolution.
Transforming conflict in Southern Thailand
The Asia Foundation is one of the most active and respected international organizations working in conflict mitigation efforts in Thailand’s southern border provinces. We helped address bitter grievances rooted in historical and cultural identity, rights protection, and access to justice that underlie Malay-Muslim discontent with the Thai State. For decades, the Malay-Muslim community has called for the renaming of villages in a manner that reflects the identity of the region. We supported local partners to successfully advocate the government to restore the traditional Malay-language names of 10 villages. In addition, we trained 994 respected religious and secular leaders to channel citizen views and expectations concerning the conflict to decision-makers, while local news media reached more than 200,000 radio listeners with balanced analysis of conflict issues and the peace process.
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