More Muslim groups joining next month’s peace dialogue

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BANGKOK, Nov 15 – The next round of peace talks in December between Thai government security officials and Muslim insurgent groups in southern Thailand will include members of other movements rather than the Barisan Revolusi Nationsal (BRN), a senior official said today.

Charoon Ampha, National Security Council (NSC) advisor, said only four BRN members will attend the fourth peace dialogue, but other participants will include two from the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (PULO), one from the Barisan Islam Pembebasan Pattani (BIPP), and eight representatives of groups with different opinions.

Col Charoon said during the regular press briefing on the southern situation at the Defence Ministry that the Thai delegation will definitely refuse to discuss any proposal that may lead to territorial separation.

He said Malaysian academics will be invited to the meeting which will be attended by 15 security officials from Thailand.

The dialogue will be held in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Members of the Committee to Mobilise Policy and Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern Border Provinces has agreed at the meeting on Thursday on new peace-keeping measures for the South.

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok who chaired the meeting stressed strict law enforcement, elimination of conditions which could lead to conflicts or territorial separatism and encouragement of social participation by the younger generations.