Two more separatist groups to join peace talks with Thai govt

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-11-6 17:10:55

Thai deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok said on Wednesday that two more insurgent groups in the country's restive far south are likely to join peace talks with the authorities, tentatively scheduled for December.

Pracha, who oversees national security, made the remark after meeting in the Government House with Ahmad Zamzamin bin Hashim, former director of Malaysia's External Intelligence Organization who acts as facilitator of the talks.

Apart from the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), who has been engaged in peace dialogues with the Thai government since late March, another two groups, namely the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO) and Barisan Islam Pembebasan Pattani (BIPP), will join the next round of talks, according to Pracha.

He said PULO will be given two seats for its representatives, while the Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) group has not been in contact but the government expected the group will cooperate soon.

Thailand's Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated three southern border provinces -- Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla have been plagued with violence since early 2004, with more than 5,000 people killed and more than 9,000 injured.

The previous peace talks between BRN and the authorities yielded few results, as the umbrella insurgent group brought up five demands but the latter refused to accept.

National Security Council secretary-general Paradorn Pattanathabut said a joint intention is expected to be signed in the next round of talks.

He expressed hope that the talks will help the authorities get a clearer picture of the motivation and operations of each militant group.

blog comments powered by Disqus