Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan has urged security officials on the ground to exercise the utmost restraint following several attacks targeting Buddhist monks and officials in the southernmost province of Narathiwat last week.
As the government’s security czar, General Prawit instructed security officials to carry out their duties without allowing personal emotions to get in the way when tracking down offenders, and to bring them to prosecution, Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich said on Monday.
Prawit, who is also defence minister, warned authorities against playing into the hands of the insurgents by allowing the past violence to turn into religious conflict, and urged authorities to protect the facilities of all religions in the restive deep South, Kongcheep said.
Prawit also stressed the government’s firm commitment to settling conflicts through peace talks, the spokesman added.
Last Friday, a series of violent attacks was carried out by insurgents in Narathiwat, including an assault on a Buddhist temple, where two monks were fatally gunned down and another two were injured.
The violent attack on innocent people was condemned by both Thai and Islamic authorities.
Insurgents have orchestrated violence in the predominantly Muslim region since early 2004, claiming nearly 7,000 lives so far, while the authorities in Bangkok are struggling to make peace with them.
Attempts to establish peace talks have not yet yielded any positive results.