Thailand's new military rulers say they have agreed to talks with Islamic rebels in the south, in a significant policy change from the ousted regime. General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who led the September coup, said he had agreed to a request for talks from several rebel factions. ... Former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in the coup, had refused to hold discussions with the insurgents.REPEAT: The coup leader is a Muslim. And who does the coup serve? Muslim terrorists. This is a very bad development - one which will embolden jihadoterrorists throughout the world and especially in SE Asia, epsecailly Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philipines.
Gen Sonthi, who is himself a Muslim, had proposed such talks before the coup but the idea had been rejected by Mr Thaksin. Gen Sonthi has also confirmed that he has no immediate plans to end martial law, which has been in place since the coup.
...More than 1,500 people have been killed since January 2004 in the bloody insurgency in Thailand's southern provinces.