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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                    28  September 2011

Southern Thai separatist leaders to surrender

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Members of the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo) living in exile in Europe will turn themselves in to authorities soon, according to a southern insider.

Chaiyong Maneerungsakul, a member of the Advisory Council for Peace Building in the Southern Border Provinces, said leaders of the separatist movement would turn themselves in following secret talks early this year between Phanu Uthairat, secretary-general of the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, and Pulo representative Yase Pateh.

He said that Sapae-ing Basor, believed to be the leader of the Barisan Resolusi Nasional Coordinate, and Masae Useng, another suspected key member of the group, would also surrender.

Barisan Resolusi, is a militant group active in the South, but based in Malaysia. Mr. Chaiyong warned authorities to be alert to reprisals after the suspected separatist leaders surrendered.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has condemned the indiscriminate murder of civilians by insurgents in Thailand's southern border provinces, saying the killings amounted to war crimes.

A report issued by the London-based human rights group also said security forces were guilty of excesses, including extrajudicial killings, that endangered civilians.

Nearly 4,800 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and thousands injured in the southernmost provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, plus parts of neighbouring Songkhla since the insurgency flared in 2004.

"[The insurgents] have committed _ and are continuing to commit _ what amount to acts aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and which constitute war crimes," the report said.

The Amnesty report, entitled "They Took Nothing but his Life", detailed the deaths of 82 people in 66 insurgent attacks between November 2006 and June 2011 in three districts. Most victims were Muslim, but Amnesty said the insurgents also killed Buddhists from all walks of life.



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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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