Ex-separatist leader pledges to help Thai govt fight southern rebellion

Khaosod English: A former separatist leader recently freed from prison has vowed to assist the Thai government's effort to quell the secessionist movement in Thailand's southern border provinces. 

Haji Sama-ae Thanam, 63, was released from prison on 17 July after spending 18 years behind bars on terrorism charges.  His life sentence was reduced as part of a government policy to pardon former insurgents who have displayed good behavior and renounced the armed struggle. 

Speaking to reporters at his home in Pattani province's Panare district on Saturday, Sama-ae thanked the government, the military, and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center.

"From now on, I will be dedicated to solving problems and developing the border provinces," Sama-ae said, referring to the provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, which local Muslim insurgents are aiming to secede from Thai authorities.

 

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