BRN demands 'drawing scant support'

Southern residents have expressed no clear will to back the five demands issued by the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut says.

  • Published: 13/06/2013 at 12:00 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

Speaking ahead of today's third round of peace talks with the insurgent group in Malaysia, the National Security Council (NSC) chief said the meeting would touch on the BRN's demands, which must be clarified.

The BRN's demands were issued via a YouTube video posted in April.

The insurgents called for Malaysia to mediate the talks; the unconditional release of political prisoners; the recognition of the BRN as the Patani liberation movement; the participation of other Asean members in the talks; and for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and other non-governmental organisations to witness the talks.

Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut will lead the Thai delegation at another peace talks session with the BRN in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. (File photo)

The talks are taking place between the Patani Melayu insurgents led by the BRN and the government.

Lt Gen Paradorn said the agency had held several public forums in the three southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat to gauge the opinions of residents about the southern violence.

He said there is no clear indication that local people support the demands.

The locals and the BRN do not share all the same points of view, he said. Those differences will be addressed at today's talks, he added.

As for the release of prisoners, Lt Gen Paradorn said the government could not intervene in cases under the courts' jurisdiction. However, if a case in question is in its initial stages, the government could become involved, he said.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said yesterday an immediate cessation of violence in the South after today's talks would be impossible to achieve.

ACM Sukumpol, however, said he had learned from the delegates holding talks with the BRN that Muslim residents in the far South had called on the insurgents to cease attacks during the fasting month of Ramadan, beginning July 8.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has asked the ministry to run a command centre for public relations aimed at solving the southern violence.

ACM Sukumpol said he plans to spearhead seminars concerning the southern unrest in Bangkok, and later in other parts of the country.

Insurgent defectors and security officers in the insurgency-plagued region would be invited to discuss the matter, he added.

Meanwhile, a man was killed in a drive-by shooting at Ban Baluka, tambon Karubi in Pattani's Kapo district yesterday.

Police said Niwaesugree Niwae, 30, was killed in front of his house in the village. Niwaesugree was the younger brother of a territorial defence volunteer in Kapho district.

In the same district, a soldier of the Pattani 21 special taskforce was wounded by a roadside bomb blast while patrolling on the Na Pradoo-Lam Mai road in tambon Pak Lor.

Sgt Ratthasat Kamolnithiset suffered wounds to his neck and arm and was taken to Yala Central Hospital.

In Narathiwat's Sukhirin district, 32-year-old rubber tapper Jehmayaso Yimayee was gunned down on a bridge in Ban Lubo Laso in tambon Romsai while riding his motorcycle to his plantation about 6am.

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Writer: Patsara Jikkham & Waedao Harai

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