Security chief: Still too early for dialogue to stop southern violence


BANGKOK, March 30 – Thailand’s national security chief admitted that the ongoing peace talks with Muslim insurgents will not suspend militants’ attacks and violent activity in the kingdom’s far South.

Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabut met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Friday to report the results of dialogue with core insurgent leaders in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

He quoted the premier as saying that the peace process must continue strenuously and positively, given the people’s high expectation.

Fifteen Thai officials joined the Kuala Lumpur’s peace talks which was attended by 15 key insurgents of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (National Revolutionary Front or BRN) and the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (PULO). High-ranking Malaysian officials were present during the 12-hour discussion.

“Thailand wanted to cool down violence in the South while the BRN members sought justice for fellow militants [under arrest warrants],” Lt Gen Paradorn said.

“It is impossible to hope that major violence will not occur in the restive region. Talks will continue though the unrest hasn’t improved yet.”

He said the Thai side asked for a timeframe but the BRN representatives said they need to create understanding among the various factions.

Paradorn added that militant wrongdoers on the official wanted list consisted of less than 10,000 people and it would not be necessary to enforce the amnesty law to solve this problem.

He said Thursday’s dialogue would lead to further talks and he will consult former prime minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh soon.