New round of peace talks with BRN this month


BANGKOK, Nov 1 — The fourth round of the peace dialogue between representatives of the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) millitant group is  expected to be held within this month but the date has yet been set, according to the National Security Council (NSC). 

NSC adviser Col Charoon Ampha said during the weekly press briefing on the southern situation that the next round of peace talks would be held this month as the October meeting was cancelled.

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok who chaired the Committee to Mobilise Policy and Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern Border Provinces will soon call a meeting of four working groups to set the date for the dialogue, he said.

He said the NSC has coordinated with Malaysia, the dialogue facilitator, requesting to include the groups believed to have potential in stopping violence attack in Thailand’s southernmost provinces in the fourth round of talks.

The number of delegates will be limited to 15 for each side, he said.

Meanwhile, Maj Gen Surachart Chitjaeng, spokesman for the defence ministry office said the insurgent groups have changed their tactics to focus on quality rather than quantity.

He said the militants have used more complicated explosive devices and now focus their attacks at well known persons to draw public and media attention. 

Gen Surachart cited the recent bomb attack that killed three members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit in Narathiwat.

However, he admitted that the bomb disposal equipment including the bomb blast protection suits are now inadequate and security agencies are trying to procure more equipment for security personnel.