Peace talks in southern provinces will contunue: Prayuth


BANGKOK, July 5 — Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is also head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said the council was still working on the process to revive peace talks with the insurgent groups in the southern provinces.

Gen Prayuth said during his weekly televised address late Friday that the process of peace talks must be in accordance with constitutional principles and Thai laws.

Case studies from foreign countries would also be considered. In relation to this, Malaysia would remain the facilitator for high-level discussions.

“I affirm that improvements will be made based on the approval received for cooperation of all parties concerned,” he said.

Gen Prayuth said that while Malaysia was applying the “Win Heart and Mind” approach, the NCPO strategy remained the one initiated by His Majesty the King,  the principles of “Understand, Reach Out, and Develop.”

He added that the NCPO has made organizational restructuring to create harmonization and integration between relevant agencies in three levels.

At the policy level, the Head of the NCPO, as Director of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and the highest-level official, will be advised by the National Security Council on issues relating to existing policies and future policymaking.

On the level of policy implementation, a committee shall be set up to drive forward the process of tackling problems in the deep south and integrate the related works from relevant agencies and existing mechanisms and management systems.

Members of the committee would include representatives from the Southern Border Provinces Development Strategy Committee, the Committee on Policy and Strategy Implementation for Solving Problems regarding Southern Border Provinces, the ISOC, and the Southern Border Province Administration Center (SBPAC).

On the operational level, ISOC Fourth Region Forward Command will be the agency responsible for implementing and pushing forward the works of all governmental units and agencies and overseeing the overall situation in relevant areas, to ensure the integration and consistency of relevant plans and projects, as well as addressing the needs of people residing in the area.