Army says southern insurgents incapable of becoming international terrorists - translated and summarized from Phujatkan, March 20, 2008
General Akara Thiprot - the Spokesman of the Royal Thai Army - yesterday granted a media interview on the subject of the recent issuance of a US Government travel advisory. The travel advisory warned US citizens not to visit Thailand’s three southernmost border provinces (Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat). Gen. Akara said it was normal for the US Government to issue such an advisory, as the Thai Government would do the same for its citizens if faced with a similar situation.
Concerning the Prime Minister’s recent statement that southern insurgents might attempt to raise the profile of their criminal activities on the international stage, Gen. Akara commented that the insurgents had never really expressed any long-term goals. He reminded the media that the insurgents were loath to provide any advance warning on the likely times, locations and methods of their attacks. He accused the insurgents of only wishing to demonstrate that they were capable of carrying out criminal attacks, and added that this made it impossible for them to be perceived as ‘international’ terrorists.
Gen. Akara also commented that the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the South would be insufficient, per se, to bring any immediate relief to the region’s conflict - but added that the PM was already being well-appraised of the situation in the region on a daily basis.
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