The National Security Council (NSC) has hinted that the peace talks between security officials and separatist groups risk being postponed.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, under fire for refusing to visit the deep South, says insurgents "are not keeping their word". (Bangkok Post photo)
NSC chief Paradorn Pattanatabut expressed concern Tuesday about the new wave of violence in the far South.
He said it is the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgency movement's duty to talk to other insurgent groups to reduce the level of violence in the region.
"There will be problems concerning the peace talks if the violence continues," Lt Gen Paradorn said.
He was commenting on a new attack on the house of an adviser to the deputy prime minister, which has been hit by grenades two days in a row.
Signs emerged independently Tuesday that the next round of talks in Kuala Lumpur, on April 29, would be postponed, as Malaysia is going to the polls.
Lt Gen Paradorn said officials have received a signal from Malaysia the talks could be deferred.
Paradorn: ‘It is BRN’s duty to ease violence’
This, he said, had nothing to do with the violence in the deep South, but was an independent development.
The NSC, the BRN and the Malaysian government would decide if the talks should be postponed, he said.
Prime Minister Najib Razak dissolved the Malaysian parliament on April 3.
The general election there must be held by June 27. The date is expected to be announced this week.
Lt Gen Paradorn came out to disclose the possible postponement after the house of former Muslim MP Najmuddin Uma in Narathiwat's Ragae district was hit by another grenade attack Tuesday.
The grenade in the attack, which took place just after midnight, went over Mr Najmuddin's roof and landed near a neighbour's place, wounding a resident.
Two grenades were fired from an M-79 launcher on Monday, hitting the house but causing no casualties.
Authorities believe the same men are responsible for both attacks.
In the first attack on Monday, witnesses saw two men approach on a motorcycle, and the man riding pillion fired both rounds.
Mr Najmuddin is an adviser to Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung who oversees southern security affairs.
When asked about the attacks, Lt Gen Paradorn said the Muslim militants are now targeting more senior state officials.
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the NSC to review its peace negotiation strategies before the next round of talks.
He said Lt Gen Paradorn has admitted that insurgents were now targeting important people.
Lt Gen Sakol Chuentrakul, the 4th Army chief, said the repeated grenade attacks are unlikely to result from the NSC's negotiations with the BRN.
He attributed them to local political conflicts, saying local elections are approaching in many areas.
However, Mr Chalerm said insurgents were not keeping their word and were focused on the use of force. He still refuses to visit the far South even though he is in charge of overseeing security problems there.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would not accept that the peace talks could be postponed.
She said she had ordered the NSC to talk to all insurgency movements and the talks would take time.
Mr Najmuddin said he was negotiating with local insurgents but he had limitations about talking to militants aged 20-30.
He said the insurgents who attacked his house should come and talk to him instead. He insisted he still lived in his house in Narathiwat despite the attacks.
Sunai Phasuk, an adviser to the Human Rights Watch organisation in Thailand, said Mr Najmuddin was one of the few people who could talk to the new wave of insurgents involved in attacks.
Hard-core insurgents were seriously viewing that Mr Najmuddin was a defector as he had turned to work for the government.
Meanwhile, intelligence authorities have warned of possible attacks in Hat Yai district of Songkhla province after the Songkran festival.
A police patrol vehicle was slightly damaged by a roadside bomb explosion in Narathiwat's Bacho district on Monday night, police said.
The attack occurred on the Ton Sai-Talohlue Raman road at Ban Talohta of tambon Palukasamoh.
Pol Lt Warn Daengngern, deputy chief of Kapo police station, said he and three other police were travelling in the patrol vehicle when the improvised explosive was detonated.
The vehicle was slightly damaged, but there were no injuries. Police blamed separatist militants.
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