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Insurgency

Former BRN negotiator slams Thailand as being insincere at peace talks

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Former BRN negotiator slams Thailand as being insincere at peace talks | The Thaiger

PHOTO: thailandchatter.com

A similar number of people have been killed in the Southern Insurgency in Thailand as in the conflicts at the Gaza Strip and West Bank in Palestine over the past 15 years. But the religious and realestate conflict at the southern Thai border with Malaysia has had a lot less international media coverage.

One of the Malay negotiators, who has been part of peace initiatives over the past four years, resigned in May. He has spoken to Benar News about his frustrations with Thai negotiators.

The lead negotiator, Sukree Hari, for Muslim rebels fighting for a separate state in southern Thailand, has slammed the Thai government as “insincere and indifferent” in peace talks.

He has headed a rebel delegation at peace talks with the Thai government for the past four years. He resigned in May this year citing health issues. He was part of a three-person delegation at talks representing the largest group fighting in Thailand’s South, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

MARA Patani, the panel representing separatist groups and factions at the Malaysia-brokered talks, has not yet named a replacement for Sukree, according to its spokesman.

Sukree claimed the Thai government “is not sincere about resolving the conflict in Patani. The negotiations held thus far were a tactic for wasting Malay Patani people’s time.”

The talks involve to the three southernmost provinces of Thailand – Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala – and the ethnic Malay Muslims who live there.

“Whatever was agreed together at the negotiating table, the Thai side was not willing to sign, and that is clear proof that the Thai side was just pretending in the negotiations, playing for time,” he said in a recent interview with BenarNews in northern Malaysia.

Talks launched in 2015 under the junta that ruled Thailand until earlier this month have been on hold, and their only outcome – a proposed ceasefire in one province or “safety zone” – never took place.

The negotiations were dogged by allegations that rebel leaders in touch with fighters on the ground were not participating in the talks and did not support the effort. But Sukree denied this.

When speaking to Benar News he declined to answer when asked if BRN was responsible for attacks in the south in recent years that are never claimed by any group but typically blamed on “militants” and “insurgent” by Thai security forces. The region has been under martial law almost continually since 2004.

In the latest attack yesterday (Wednesday), three soldiers patrolling a road in Bacho district of Narathiwat province were seriously injured when suspected insurgents detonated a bomb.

Read The Thaiger story HERE.

And on Monday, three marines were injured in a roadside bomb attack in the same district while traveling in a light armoured vehicle.

Thai officials meanwhile stress that talks were under way at various levels, although the last publicly announced formal meeting with MARA Patani was in 2017.

“At present, we still have peace talks in accordance with national strategy. The Thai government is always open for all dissident groups to talk, without forcing anyone to,” retired Lt. Gen. Udomchai Thammasarorat, the chief Thai negotiator, told Benar News.

SOURCE: Benar News

Former BRN negotiator slams Thailand as being insincere at peace talks | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Sukree Hari – Nani Yusof/Benar News

ASEAN

Police seeking arrest warrants for planners of August 2 Bangkok bombs

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Police seeking arrest warrants for planners of August 2 Bangkok bombs | The Thaiger

ORIGINAL PHOTO: Reuters

Police now believe that three suspects in the August 2 Bangkok bombings plotted much the attacks in a neighbouring country. Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon reported the latest in the investigations to the media today.

Gen Prawit reported that the three suspects were actively involved and have fled back to their country. Without mentioning the country (presumably Malaysia), Prawit said that police are seeking the assistance of their neighbouring counterparts to arrest and return the suspects to Thailand for questioning.

Police have also reported that the attacks were planned near the Thai-Malaysian border at a meeting of the planners, bomb-makers and attackers. A total of 15 suspects are believed to be involved in the bombings.

Meanwhile, two detained suspects in the bombings are back in Bangkok after being transported from Narathiwat. More about that story HERE. The Metropolitan Police will seek an extension to their lawful detention at the Bangkok South Criminal Court tomorrow.

Both suspects have been charged with organised crime, attempted murder, carrying explosives and illegal possession of explosives.

The two men are accused of planting two bombs on the steps of the Royal Thai Police HQ in the Thursday late afternoon. At the time authorities claimed the bombs were dummy devices. The bags contained a bomb that was set to go off at 8am on August 2 but were defused by bomb disposal officers. The other bombs went off in locations around Bangkok between 7-9am on August 2, during Bangkok’s morning peak hour.

Six bombs and six incendiary devices detonated on August 2 as Bangkok hosted the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting. Police believe the day was chosen to co-incide with the regional meeting to ’embarrass’ the Thai government.

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Bangkok

Thai Police Chief admits difficulties in solving last Friday’s bombings

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Thai Police Chief admits difficulties in solving last Friday’s bombings | The Thaiger

“Suspects had provided some useful information but are still reluctant to disclose the rewards they were promised.”

Thailand’s national police chief says that it has been difficult for investigators to track down the real masterminds behind the recent bombings and arson attacks in Bangkok and neighbouring Nonthaburi province. Police have arrested at least two people and held others in custody for questioning since last Friday morning’s bomb attacks around the city.

But Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda claimed 80-90% of bombing incidents in Thailand are politically motivated.

“The motives for the recent incidents are difficult to determine because the attacks were prepared meticulously.”

Two suspects, 22 year old Lu-ai Sae-ngae and 29 year old Wildon Maha, were arrested in Chumpon province as they were heading south in a passenger van to Narathiwat province from the Chatachuk area in Bangkok early last Friday morning, before the bombs started going off around the city during the Friday morning peak hour.

Pol Gen Chakthip says the pair are among about 25 people thought to be involved in the incidents. Both have been charged with criminal association, possession of explosives and attempted murder. He said the suspects had provided some useful information, but are still reluctant to disclose the rewards they were promised.

On arrest, the two suspects each had five sets of clothing in their backpacks, to be changed in the course of their operation to make them hard to identify. The national police chief also accused the two suspects of involvement in the attack on a marine base in Narathiwat in 2013.

Meanwhile, Pol Lt-Gen Suwat Chaengyodsook, the assistant national police chief, in charge of handling the case, told the media that police believe four groups of people were involved, namely a strategy group for planning, the instigators who handled recruitment and issued the orders, the logistics group which provided help before and after the execution of the plan and the operations group which executed the plan, altogether over 25 people, some of whom are thought to have already fled abroad.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Thai Police Chief admits difficulties in solving last Friday's bombings | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Explosive devices recovered by EOD

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Crime

ATM destroyed in front of University in Pattani, police looking for 10 suspect attackers

The Thaiger

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ATM destroyed in front of University in Pattani, police looking for 10 suspect attackers | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS

Security officials are on high alert in southern Thailand after two explosions went off early yesterday, damaging ATMs in front of a University.

Security is being tightened up at banks, markets, convenience stores and government offices in 12 districts of Pattani, one fo the three southern-most provinces.

At this stage security officials are blaming separatist insurgents for the attacks in front of Fahlorni University in Ba Sarong and on Road 409 between 12.20am and 2am. The perpetrators also burned car tyres near the scene of the blast on Road 409. No one was injured in the explosions.

Thai PBS reports that a Twitter user, believed to be a university student, tweeted that his hostel is not far away from the location of the two explosions and that they were very loud. He said, although he has heard several explosions before, he is still not used to it, adding that a university security guard might have some information about the perpetrators because he was tied up with a rope and assaulted before the explosions.

The provincial police commander says that about 10 suspected separatist insurgents were involved in the incidents and they stole all the cash from the damaged ATM.

Investigation continue into the identity of the attackers and possible connections to the explosions set off around Bangkok on Friday morning.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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