The Thai government has postponed peace talks with a southern militant group indefinitely, and is reinforcing military strength in the country’s deep South, following escalating violence in the last several days, according to army chief Prayuth Cha-ocha.
He said military forces were instructed to be on the offensive and work closely with 66 related government agencies to deal with militants’ attacks in Thai southern border provinces. The militants’ attacks were symbolic activities to mark their important days, compelling southern authorities to be on full alert, he said.
The army chief said the fourth round of peace talks with militant group Barisan Revolusi Nasional BRN, originally scheduled for late this month, would be postponed until every party is ready since the southern militants have split into several factions.
Thailand will increase of number of security officials at the talks, he said, emphasising that the Thai government has not accepted any BRN proposals. BRN militants are pressuring the government to accept their five demands while the Thai authorities must be patient and avoid retaliations which could lead to the militants further demand for territorial separation, said Gen Prayuth. He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was reassured by her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak during their meeting on the sidelines of the 23rd ASEAN Summit in Brunei that Thailand has been at an advantage since it was the BRN who initially asked for the peace dialogues. MCOT online news
The talks are a step toward ending the long-running conflict, but there is still no ceasefire agreement, and a political settlement is far away. The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people and injured an additional 10,000 since 2004, according to the Deep South Watch at Prince of Songkhla Univeristy in Pattani. While there was a rapid escalation of violence during the initial phase of the conflict and after the military coup in 2006, violence has remained at a steady level for the past five years. Separatist violence is currently concentrated in three Malay-Muslim provinces — Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat — as well as four districts in neighbouring Songkhla.
Follow us: @ThailandBizNews on Twitter | ThailandBusinessNews on Facebook
Subscribe via Email
CLMV’s economic growth crashes to two-decade low due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has caused the rate of economic growth in the CLMV bloc to be at its lowest in...
Zero New Covid cases and deaths in Thailand
Thailand reported no new coronavirus cases on Sunday May 24th and no new deaths, but the Centre for COVID-19 Situation...
Thailand extends state of emergency for another month
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has approved the proposal of the National Security Council to extend the country’s...
The Rapid Growth of Online Scam in South East Asia
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people are required to remain at home, spending more time on the internet and...
BoT cut rate to record low 0.5%
The Bank of Thailand cut the policy rate yesterday by 0.25 percentage points to a record low of 0.5%, saying...
COVID-19 Silver Lining : Asia sees unexpected gains in virus lockdowns
This year Thailand saw a 60 percent decrease nationwide in traffic accidents, with the death toll dropping to 167 from...