[JURIST] Thai interim Prime Minister Chulanont Surayud [official website; BBC profile] Thursday promised to investigate allegations of human rights violations by the government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra [BBC profile]. Speaking to Muslim leaders in the southern Pattani province, Surayud apologized for the former government's crackdown on an Islamic insurgency in the country's southern region and said the government will allow a limited use of Islamic Law in such cases as inheritance and family disputes. Nearly 2,000 people have died in sectarian violence in the Muslim-dominated provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat since 2004.
The Thai military seized power from Thaksin in a bloodless coup [JURIST report] in September and has imposed martial law [JURIST report] in the country. Surayud has said that the Thai government will maintain martial law until Thaksin supporters quell their protests [JURIST report]. Last week, Army Chief Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratglin [BBC profile], who led the coup, admitted that investigators are struggling to find evidence of corruption [JURIST report], the reason given for Thaksin's overthrow. AP has more. The Bangkok Post has local coverage.