NCPO: Southern unrest dropping


BANGKOK, July 21 — Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has stated that violent incidents in the deep South were decreasing, while peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgency movement will proceed.

Deputy army chief and NCPO secretary-general Gen Udomdet Sitabutr said that the number of violent incidents in the the three southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat dropped by 20-30 per cent compared with those last year.

Gen Udomdet, chairing a meeting on solutions to violence in the southern border provinces at Royal Thai Army headquarters today, admitted that he was worried about violent incidents in southern border provinces, saying that all concerned authorities tried to implement solutions as fast as possible but insurgents continued to launch attacks.

However, he said, the number of  incidents was decreasing and authorities were receiving good cooperation from local religious leaders and the people and they were developing mutual understanding.

“Incidents continue to happen in the month of Ramadan partly because of the misbelief that attackers could make merit with their violent incidents including those against the authorities.

“There are attempts to create understanding with locals and most of them now have proper understanding,” Gen Udomdet said.

The NCPO secretary-general also said that the National Security Council planned to negotiation with the BRN and that would produce a good result. He declined to elaborate on the plan.

He said that after a change of work procedures, solutions for the far South would be more effective.

Regarding yesterday’s bombings at four locations of Tanyongmas municipality in Narathiwat’s Rangae district, police used surveillance footage to identify two of seven bombers. No casualties were reported from the bombings.