KL lauds Thai peace talks effort

Malaysia has praised the Thai government for entering into peace talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) separatist group and vowed to support fully the bid to bring peace to the far South, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra says.

A bomb disposal team defuses a bomb in Narathiwat’s Tak Bai district. The 15-kg bomb was planted near the wall of the provincial coastal fisheries research and development centre. WAEDAO HARAI

After meeting with Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Ms Yingluck told reporters he had praised her government for initiating the peace talks with the BRN.

She said he told her Malaysia was ready to cooperate with Thailand throughout the process.

Ms Yingluck said she asked him for cooperation to help examine the fingerprints of Malaysian nationals who hold dual nationality as they might have links to the unrest.

She also called on Malaysia to hold a joint meeting to look into other problems involving people who hold dual nationality.

The Malaysian deputy prime minister yesterday paid a courtesy call to Ms Yingluck during an official visit here.

The government panel tackling violence in the far South will meet today to consider the BRN's five demands.

Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok said a decision about the BRN's demands would depend on the outcome of a meeting of the Centre for the Implementation of Policies and Strategies for Solving Problems in Southern Border Provinces.

The meeting, set for today at army headquarters, will be hosted by army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha, Pol Gen Pracha said.

National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanatabut said discussions were needed to consider each of the five demands in detail before the issue is raised at the centre's next meeting.

Among the demands were that Asean members, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and international NGOs be allowed to witness the talks, and that the government release all detained suspects and suspend and revoke all arrest warrants concerning national security cases without condition.

The BRN also wants to be recognised as a liberation movement, rather than as a separatist group.

Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre secretary-general Pol Col Thawee Sodsong said he had exchanged views on development and education issues with Muslim representatives during his trip to Pakistan last week.

He said he passed a message along to them that Thailand adheres to laws and deals with the southern unrest peacefully.

Meanwhile in Narathiwat, a home-made bomb targeting a team of marines was defused yesterday.

Police and bomb disposal experts defused the 15-kilogramme bomb, planted near the wall of the provincial coastal fisheries research and development centre in Tak Bai district, at 1pm.

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