BANGKOK, 6 October 2013 – The Ministry of Defense confirms the peace dialogue between the Thai government and the BRN insurgent group is still on, saying the army chief sets the direction for the Thai side in every round of the talks.
Permanent Secretary for Defense Gen.Niphat Thonglek on Sunday said the ministry’s survey found that most people in the southern border provinces voiced their support for the peace dialogue. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen.Prayuth Chan-ocha both gave their full support for the talks with the army top brass actively involved in the peace process.
When asked whether there would be changes made to the talk leaders, the permanent secretary said Secretary-General of the National Security Council Lt.Gen.Paradorn Pattanatabut, who represented the Thai government in the talks, would answer this question. Gen.Niphat however said he thought BRN leader Hassan Taib would still be a part of the peace dialogue and any changes on the BRN side would be notified to Thailand via Malaysia, the coordinator of the Thai-BRN peace process.