Chalerm gets PM’s nod to lead Thai delegation in BRN-NSC talks

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Following a fresh mandate from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said yesterday that he would replace the National Security Council (NSC) chief and lead a Thai delegation in the coming round of a peace talks with insurgent representatives, scheduled for June 13 in Kuala Lumpur.

Chalerm said he had been following the peace efforts and would maintain his stance against the demand of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional-Coordinate (BRN-C) for territorial separation – a Patani state or an autonomous Patani metropolitan area.

“These drastic changes will no longer be discussed in any future meetings,” he said.

If the June 13 meeting ends in deadlock, Chalerm said he would consider seeking a meeting with Malaysia’s interior minister to discuss further steps in the peace efforts.

Asked about the practicality of dialogue while violence continued despite a promise by the BRN-C to rein in the attacks, Chalerm said no one – not even the BRN-C – could control insurgents who operated independently.

He added that the dialogue for peace sent a positive message to the world that Thai authorities were keen to find a non-violent solution.

“Thailand is a single, inseparable state, and we are always ready to listen to the insurgents and talk with them. This is what we want to tell the international community, and that is why we still need to go ahead with the dialogue,” he said.

Chalerm added that he was being briefed about the situation and the previous talks attended by NSC secretary-general Paradorn Pattanathabutr and two key members of the Thai delegation. However, he declined to say whether they would accompany him to the June 13 meeting.

Meanwhile, security officials shot dead two suspected insurgents after a shoot-out in Yala province that followed a security blockade in Bannang Sata district.

One of the dead, Yukipuelee Jehdemae, was purportedly a leader in a bomb attack in 2010 that killed dedicated and much-loved police colonel, Somphian Ek-somya. The other victim in the attack was identified as Redawa Laeha, a Muang district resident.



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