PM recants ‘year to end unrest’ claim

PM recants ‘year to end unrest’ claim

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday backed down on a claim he would end unrest in the deep South within a year.

PM Prayut reportedly said he would end southern violence before the start of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015.

He discussed the southern violence and the government's efforts to bring peace to the region on Sunday after delivering a farewell message as outgoing army chief at the Nakhon Si Thammarat-based Vajiravudh army camp.

Following media reports of his remarks, Gen Prayut said yesterday he had meant to say the government expected to bring all groups and stakeholders involved to the negotiating table before the AEC begins.

Since the May 22 coup, the military-installed government has renewed efforts to pursue peace negotiations with southern separatists, attempting to include as many stakeholders as possible.

Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in Pattani amid concerns of reprisals after a suspected key insurgent was killed by security forces and two others were detained in Panare district on Sunday.

Security has been tightened throughout communities, at government buildings and along main and secondary routes in the province. Vehicles passing through security checkpoints are being searched thoroughly.

Pol Maj Gen Phot Suaysuwan, commander of Pattani provincial police bureau, yesterday thanked locals for tipoffs, saying their cooperation had helped prevent violence.

On Sunday, Ahamad Dueramae, 28, was shot and killed while exchanging gunfire with authorities, during a raid on a house in Bang Maruad village in tambon Ban Klang of Panare district to look for suspects wanted in insurgency-related cases.

The victim was wanted on arrest warrants for various attacks, including the killing of four soldiers in Pattani's Mayo district in 2012 and an attack on a government checkpoint at Ban Nam Dam in Thung Yang Daeng district on July 17.

Aliyasa Samo, 31, and Jedoloh Jehma, the owner of the house, surrendered. Mr Aliyasa is wanted on seven arrest warrants for alleged involvement in southern violence.

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