The Nation



Thawil to oversee South talks, Prayuth specifies

Thawil Pliensri, who has returned to his post as National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general, would be the chief negotiator in the ongoing dialogue with insurgents in the far South and will act within the framework already set by authorities, Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha told caretaker PM Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday.

Yingluck was attending a Defence Council meeting in her capacity as defence minister.

Prayuth clarified Thawil's role in response to an enquiry from Yingluck. She had transferred Thawil several years ago, but he has been reinstated via a Supreme Court order.

Thawil's transfer, which is now being further studied by the Constitutional Court, might end up being the reason behind the ouster of this government.

This is the first time that Yingluck has publicly asked about Thawil's role since he returned to the NSC in place of Paradorn Pattanathabut.

Thailand has held three rounds of meetings with the insurgents, but the fourth meeting has been put on hold due to the caretaker status of the government.

After the Defence Council meeting, Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Paphathip Sawangsaeng told reporters that this would be the year of offensive against the insurgency in the South.

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