BANGKOK, 7 April 2012 (NNT) – The deputy prime minister in charge of national security has brushed aside reports that the government is planning to hold a negotiation with Muslim insurgents in the southern border provinces.
Deputy Prime Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha said on Saturday that security agencies have no plans to hold any negotiation with insurgents, responsible for violent attacks in Thailand’s Deep South.
The Deputy PM’s rejection was made after the opposition Democrat Party claimed to have in its possession photographs of a meeting between former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) Secretary-General Thawee Sodsong and representatives of the Muslim insurgent group.
Deputy PM Yuthasak, citing an affirmation from Mr. Thawee, said that such photographs do not exist while asking the Democrats to bring forward such evidence.
He also assured that the Pheu Thai-led government has never negotiated with any insurgent groups although security forces, at the operational level, might have arranged some talks from time to time.
General Yuthasak also stated that there could be around 6 insurgent groups of various sizes operating in the Deep South of the country; however, their identifications are yet to be confirmed.
In related news, the Deputy PM said that he expects more retaliatory insurgent attacks after security forces have arrested suspects, involved in the Hat Yai hotel bombings.
Read more: NNT