Defence Minister claims 60% less violence in southern border provinces

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BANGKOK, 22 April 2015 – Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, claimed that unrest and violence in southern border provinces have mitigated by 60% whereas loss of lives and damage to property has fallen relatively by 40%, compared to the same period of last year.

His claims were made today as part of the announcement of the government’s six-month performance since Oct 2014.

According to him, the southern unrest was one of the most urgent and important issues in Thailand. The government solved the problems in three stages: firstly the instant troubleshooting that was continuing since 2004, secondly the proactive operations in parallel with the sustainable development and the peace-building process.

However, he admitted that the government needed more time for making people in the southern provinces understand its efforts and encouraging them to take part in the peace-building and development process.

Along with Gen Prawit was Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, Deputy Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army. He said that during the six months of the government, PM Prayut has set up the Committee on the Mobilization of Southern Border Provinces Policy and Strategies which was chaired by Gen Prawit.

The Committee focused on the overall development, divided into seven fields but still working integratedly. The committee had so far managed to solve problems precisely responding to the public demands.

He added that the peace talks led by chief negotiator Gen Aksara Kerdpol was still working on its tasks, hoping to return peace, order and great benefits to the southern people.