Curfew meet off to bad start

The deputy prime minister has received the thumbs down for his curfew idea after a development agency and Yala's leaders said they would rather residents looked after their own affairs.

  • Published: 15/02/2013 at 12:31 AM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) and Yala's local leaders Thursday came out against the government's plan to impose a curfew to curb insurgent violence in the deep South. SBPAC secretary-general Thawee Sodsong met Yala's local leaders Thursday to gauge their opinions about the proposed curfew.

The curfew was proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung last week.

Mr Chalerm will chair a meeting of state agencies Friday to discuss whether to announce the curfew in violence-prone areas of the far South.

Pol Col Thawee said the SBPAC wants to empower local leaders to take care of the safety and well-being of their communities. Although outsiders may view the deep South as a dangerous place, locals consider the area to be safe, he said.

Pol Col Thawee said he opposes the curfew as locals always know their area's problems better than outsiders.

The government should listen to feedback from the locals.

Religious leaders in Yala's Krong Pinang district, where the curfew is expected to be implemented, said most residents disagree with the measure.

The curfew would prevent them from tapping rubber, performing religious practices and studying, the leaders said.

The government should come to the area to get first-hand information about the situation before making any moves, they said, adding that imposing a curfew may stir up further violence.

Very few attacks have taken place in Krong Pinang since the unrest flared up in 2004, which showed residents can take care of themselves, they added.

The Advisory Council for Peace-Building in the Southern Border Provinces said Thursday the government should seek out local opinion in the far South before imposing any special laws that will affect the people of the region.

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Writer: Thanarak Khoonton & Abdulloh Benjakat

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