Security chief predicts positive outcome from June 13 peace talks

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YALA, May 27 – Thai security chief Paradorn Patanatabut has expressed optimism that the third round of peace talks with Muslim militants, scheduled for June 13, will reach a positive resolution at a certain level.

The National Security Commission (NSC) secretary general made an inspection trip to sensitive Yala province in Thailand’s far South yesterday to, among other tasks, compile feedback from Thai Buddhists on solutions to the long-standing unrest in the Thai-Malaysian border areas.

He said the southern people’s suggestions will be taken into consideration and gave assurances that the June 13 peace dialogues with Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) leaders will be held in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur as planned.

He said the Thai security delegation, in its peace talks with the BRN representatives, will listen to the people’s opinions, abide by the Thai constitution and oppose any proposal to separate Thailand’s Muslim-predominant South into a special region.

Malaysia facilitated the first two dialogues.

Meanwhile, in nearby Narathiwat province, police reported that a woman was shot dead while tapping rubber in Laloh sub-district on Sunday morning.

The victim, identified as Timoh Pohma, 44, was shot in her right chest and was found lying in a pool of blood at the rubber plantation.

Meanwhile, police reported that one of the five soldiers who were shot and wounded in an explosion on Tha Rua-Kota Baru Road died yesterday. Four others are recovering.

Police said the bomb suspects were the same group which earlier set an explosion at Rueso provincial police station, killing Pol Lt Col Chakrit Wongprommes, former deputy crime suppression commander at Rueso police station.