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Peace dialogue in the south delayed indefinitely : Army chief

The dialogue with militant group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) scheduled for late this month is delayed indefinitely, Army Commander in Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday.

He said Thai military personnel is being reinforced in the deep south, following escalating violence in the last several days which has resulted in deaths and injuries.

The military forces have been instructed to be on the offensive and work closely with government agencies to deal with militants’ attacks in the region.
The militants’ attacks were symbolic activities to mark their important days, compelling southern authorities to be on full alert, he said.
The army chief said the fourth round of peace talks with BRN, originally scheduled for late this month, would be postponed until every party is ready since the southern militants have split into several factions.
Thailand will increase of number of security officials at the talks, he said, emphasising that the Thai government has not accepted any BRN proposals.
BRN militants are pressuring the government to accept their five demands while the Thai authorities must be patient and avoid retaliation as this could lead to the militants further demanding territorial separation, said Gen Prayuth.
He said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was reassured by her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak during their meeting on the sidelines of the 23rd Asean Summit in Brunei that Thailand is at an advantage since it was the BRN who initially asked for the peace dialogue.

Published : October 11, 2013