About 1,000 guerrillas, supporters and camp followers of the outlawed Communist Party of Thailand formally surrendered on November 30.
SV & GV Communist guerrillas bringing in arms of surrender (3 shots)
SVs Official reception point, covered in Thai flags
GV & SV Armed guerrillas passing through camp gates (2 shots)
SV & GV Guerrillas handing in guns and queueing up (3 shots)
GV Crowd watching surrender process
SV PULL BACK TO GV Guerrilla leader walks up and presents flag and gun to Thai military representative
CU PULL BACK TO SV Two former guerrillas raising Thai flag as national anthem is played and army encouraging guerrillas to sing along (2 shots)
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Background: About 1,000 guerrillas, supporters and camp followers of the outlawed Communist Party of Thailand formally surrendered on November 30. The Thai government claimed this represented a major breakthrough in its 17-year-old struggle against Communist insurgency. It was a carefully planned ceremony, designed to extract maximum publicity value from the capitulation. It brought to a climax several months of negotiations with the disheartened Communists, whose party, stricken with internal feuding in recent years, has fallen into decline. Four years ago, the Party's strength was estimated at 12,000 members; now it is thought to be down to half that figure. The guerrillas marched in military formation to hand in their weapons outside the village of Ban Bak in the poverty-hit north-east of Thailand, which had been in important source of recruits and refuge in the past. The senior Communist Party member of the group handed over a red and yellow flag as well as an AK-47 rifle to Commander-in-Chief of the Thai Army, General Arthit Kamlang-ek. The general, tipped as a possible future Prime Minister, said in a brief speech that, from December the 1st, the 40th anniversary of the Thai Communist Party -- the armed element of the party could be regarded as dissolved. Independent military and diplomatic observers believe that military and political defeats have rendered the Communist rebels impotent for the foreseeable future.