Thai Government rejects amnesty proposal for southern insurgents

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Deputy Prime Minister Chidchai Vanasatidya has rejected calls by Prawes Wasi, the leader of the government-appointed National Reconciliation Commission for an amnesty to be offered to insurgents in Thailand's troubled Muslim-majority south.

Government and police officials claim that current action targeting the funding of the insurgency is proving effective and an increasing number of local people are cooperating with authorities. It is widely believed that drugs play a role in the violence, with traffickers believed to be involved in funding the militants and recruiting for them.

Raids last Friday in Sungai Padi and Tak Bai districts netted more than ten million Baht in assets from suspected drug dealers who the local governor, Pracha Terat, said were involved in the insurgency.

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