Thai govt, Islamic rebel group agree to Ramadan ceasefire
Bangkok: The Thai government and an insurgent Islamic group active in southern Thailand have agreed to a ceasefire during Muslims` holy month of Ramadan.
The agreement represented a milestone achievement in the fourth round of talks held here yesterday between the Thai government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), said a statement from the secretariat of the Joint Working Group-Southern Thai Peace Process (JWG-STPP).
"Both sides have agreed to this move aimed at saving lives and in accordance with the spirit of Ramadan. This is also a show of sincerity, goodwill and trust between them," the statement said.
The two sides have been holding talks in Malaysia.
BRN is expected to provide details on five initial demands they previously submitted to the Thai government.
The demands were for Malaysia to mediate the talks; the unconditional release of political prisoners; the recognition of BRN as the Patani liberation movement; the participation of other Asean members in the talks; and for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and other non-governmental organisations to witness the talks.
Buddhist majority-Thailand has been wrecked with sectarian violence for many months now in the nation`s southern part bordering Malaysia that has a Muslim majority in three districts.