Chalerm not losing sleep over curfew
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung says he will not be disappointed if the proposed curfew for the far South is rejected on Friday.
- Published: 13/02/2013 at 12:23 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Mr Chalerm, who supervises national security, said Tuesday that police had proposed the curfew in targeted areas in the three southernmost border provinces to curb insurgent violence.
He supported the proposal as a contingency plan, he said. However, if the plan fails to garner support then he would have no problem laying it to rest, he said.
"It's not about losing face and I was not trying to be stubborn," he said.
The Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) will meet on Friday to decide whether to go ahead and impose the curfew.
If the meeting decides against the curfew, Mr Chalerm said he will accept the decision.
Many local leaders and religious figures have opposed the curfew, saying it will be ineffective and will cause unnecessary inconvenience for residents.
Mr Chalerm said that if the curfew is not imposed, authorities should come up with alternative measures to improve security.
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said limiting people's freedom with a curfew is a sensitive issue.
The government will have a lot of explaining to do if it decides to put curfew in effect, he said. Local people need to be convinced that it is a necessary measure.
Mr Abhisit noted that a curfew had been imposed to curb violence in the far South in 2006 but was later lifted.
He said the possible imposition of a curfew requires thorough consideration before it is put in action.
Imposing the curfew only to cancel it shortly afterwards would cause damage, Mr Abhisit said.
He said insurgents could use the curfew as a reason to discredit the government and undermine public support.
Local people should be asked if they were prepared to stay home and sacrifice nighttime collection and transportation of rubber products, he said.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Tuesday she would not attend the Isoc meeting on Friday that will decide on the curfew measure.
She also said the cabinet Tuesday agreed with the Interior Ministry to recruit 2,700 more defence volunteers in the far South.
The recruits would come mainly from local people, she said.
Meanwhile, a paramilitary ranger was shot and seriously wounded in Rangae district of Pattani Tuesday afternoon.
Police said the attack occurred about 1.30pm when Cpl Suthas Waemayi, 32, of Rangers Company 4511, was talking to Maro Suli, a resident, in front of his house at Ban Samo in tambon Bongo.
A group of men emerged from the bushes near the house and one of them shot Cpl Suthas with a handgun, hitting him in the neck, wounding him seriously.
The ranger was admitted to Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Hospital.
About the author
- Writer: Patsara Jikkham & Parez Lohasant