Defense minister, army chief visiting restive south



BANGKOK, 18 August 2011 – Defense Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapa and Army Chief General Prayut Chan-O-Cha are scheduled to visit the southern provinces of Songkhla and Pattani in order to follow up on the operation in the restive south.


General Yuthasak, General Prayut and their entourage will be traveling to the deep south to follow up on solutions to solve the southernmost unrest in the two provinces, visit local military officers and receive briefings on their past operations.

The minister then will convene a meeting to hand down policies to their subordinates. Presentations on solutions from local military officers will be made to the government in order to respond to the royal advice of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit regarding the southern unrest.

General Yuthasak and his entourage will also travel to the central mosque of Yala province to visit Thai Muslims during their Ramadan month.

Speaking prior to the departure about the photos that soldiers raided huts of a Karen village around Kaeng Krachan Dam, General Prayut confirmed that the photos are unrelated to the recent helicopter clashes at the national park.

The army chief stated that the origins of the photos must be traced back. He said the operation seen in the photos were made by the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation while military officers were just supporting the mission. He believed that no one wanted to hurt the people.