Thai defence minister: BRN’s demands unacceptable


BANGKOK, June 25 – Thai Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat today lashed out at militant group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) for making unacceptable demands and conditions on the Thai government’s handling of the southern situation.

The BRN, represented by its liaison office chief Hassan Taib, announced seven demands in a video posted on YouTube, including withdrawal of all Thai soldiers, army rangers and police from the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat and five districts of Songkhla province during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said the demands for a conditional truce reflected the BRN’s insincerity. In addition they were not submitted through Malaysia as facilitator as earlier agreed.

“The BRN leaders should be aware that they are negotiating with a constitutional Thai government. We have honoured them in holding the talks. Their conditions on troop withdrawal from the South are unacceptable,” he said.

The defence minister said the BRN was irrational in demanding endorsements to their conditions by the Thai prime minister and Parliament.

Meanwhile, police reported that two men were shot dead in separate incidents in two southern border provinces today.

In Narathiwat, 54-year-old Yakoh Pasi was shot by unidentified assailants as he drove his motorcycle in Rue So district.

In another attack, in Pattani, four men fired into the home of Isma-ae Paohmani, 51, a teacher at a Muslim school, near a mosque in Yarang district. Mr Isma-ae was killed instantly and his wife was wounded.