Thai tensions thaw as peace talks resume between NSC and BRN

Peace talks between Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) are set to continue next month, despite recent setbacks, according to deputy spokeswoman Rudklao Suwankiri. This announcement follows a series of arson attacks on March 22 in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla, and indications that 45 other locations are likely targets during the holy month of Ramadan.

Rudklao emphasised the need for the BRN to halt the attacks in the Deep South, stating that the ongoing peace negotiations would benefit both Thai and Malaysian teams, given Malaysia’s role as a facilitator in the process. The NSC deputy secretary-general, Chatchai Bangchuad, who heads the government’s team, revealed that the two sides are due to hold a technical-level discussion at the end of April to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan towards Peace (JCPP).

Previous discussions took place on February 20 and March 7–8, resulting in some positive feedback, despite areas of disagreement. According to Chatchai, both parties had agreed in principle on the JCPP’s details, with the BRN agreeing to guidelines concerning the legal framework for allegations and a cessation of violent attacks.

“This is a positive sign that there is still a discussion process.”

The upcoming meeting in April is expected to see further progress on the technical details, with the 2022 General Principles of the Peace Dialogue Process focusing on reducing violence, public discussion and potential political solutions.

Addressing last week’s arson attacks in the four southern border provinces, Rudklao suggested that insurgents’ motivations may include a desire to demonstrate their discontent with the ongoing peace talks between the BRN and the Thai government. These 45 incidents primarily targeted the business sector, reported Bangkok Post.

In related news earlier this month, the Thai government has committed to transforming the country’s three southernmost provinces into global tourist attractions and increasing investment in this region. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin gave this assurance during a three-day visit to Narathiwat, Pattani, and Yala.

Politics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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