Thai PM to discuss southern violence with Malaysian leader at APEC summit

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BANGKOK, Sept 6 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will discuss the situation in Thailand’s restive southern border provinces with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit scheduled to be held in Russia this weekend.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa said the premier will leave Thailand for Vladivostok on Friday and expects to meet with her Malaysian counterpart to discuss Thailand’s southern insurgency, especially the latest disturbances in the deep South in which dozens of both dummy and real bombs were planted in numereous locations, together with Malaysian flags.

Thai security officials said earlier that the insurgents aimed to use the symbolic gestures to make headlines and plant distrust between Thailand and its neighbour Malaysia as the Aug 31 incidents coincided both Malaysian National Day and the anniversary of the founding of the Bersatu separatist movement.

Gen Yuthasak, who oversees national security, pledged that attempts to cause a rift between the two neighbours will never be achieved.

He said the premier instructed security concerned agencies during her Wednesday visit to Narathiwat that the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre could directly recruit additional eligible personnel to work in the five southern border provinces, while governors there also have the right to propose appropriate district chief candidates to the interior minister for more efficient operations.

Gen Yuthasak said that Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung will chair a meeting of concerned agencies to discuss the restive south on Friday.