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Govt won't negotiate with insurgents: Thai PM

world Updated: Jun 15, 2009 16:03 IST
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With deadly violence rocking Thailand's southern provinces, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has said his government would not negotiate with insurgents operating in the troubled region.

Speaking on his weekly television programme on Sunday, Vejjajiva said it is not possible to negotiate with the insurgents because the violence is considered Thailand's domestic problem.

The opposition wants "negotiations" so that two, three, four or five foreign countries could be invited to help solve the crisis or otherwise raise it to an the international level, he said, emphasising "that's not this government's policy."

Referring to the June 8 massacre at Al-Furqan mosque Narathiwats Cho Ai Rong district in which about 10 innocent men died when unidentified gunmen fired on worshippers, the prime minister said the assailants must be apprehended and punished in order to build confidence among the public.

Vejjajiva said he was worried that younger generations might think that the extended violence such as bombings and beheadings are normal.

Urging people in the troubled region to be patient, he said he would closely watch whether state officials were involved in instigating unrest as suspected by a number of critics. However, it is not the government's policy or direction to suppress the unrest through violent means, he said.