NSC to consult rebels over ending decree
The National Security Council (NSC) will hold talks with the militant group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) on a proposal to lift strict emergency laws in five districts in the far South.
- Published: 5/03/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
It will be the first formal meeting between the government and the separatist group since the two parties signed a deal last week to hold peace talks.
Official logo of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Pattani (BRN)
The NSC is proposing to lift the emergency decree in Ka Pho district in Pattani, Betong and Kabang districts in Yala, and Waeng and Sukhirin districts in Narathiwat, secretary-general Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut said. The law would be replaced with the more amenable Internal Security Act.
The plan was proposed by the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC) after a meeting of security agencies agreed to extend the enforcement of the emergency decree in the South for another three months.
It was due to expire on March 19.
The SBPAC said the five districts should be exempted from the emergency law because reports of violence there have been rare.
Police and security officials could work in place of soldiers to maintain order in those areas, Lt Gen Paradorn said.
Still, the NSC wants to discuss the issue with the BRN first to honour its commitment to the group, he said.
The NSC signed an agreement with Hassan Taib, identified as the chief of the BRN liaison office in Malaysia, in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday.
The deal paved the way for peace talks between the government and various militant groups in the South. The BRN is the first group to agree to such talks.
The emergency decree, which has been in place since 2005, authorises officers to conduct searches and arrests without warrants and detain suspects for 30 days without charge.
Despite its aim to tackle the southern unrest, it has drawn criticism over improper treatment of suspects.
By holding discussions with the BRN about lifting the decree, the NSC is giving the group an opportunity to demonstrate its sincerity in carrying out peace negotiations, Lt Gen Paradorn said.
The dialogue, which will start within two weeks, will enable authorities to get a clear idea of separatists' demands instead of having to rely on speculation, he added.
Meanwhile, Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has declined an offer from Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung to join a meeting to discuss further action in the South on March 6.
Mr Abhisit said his party preferred to discuss the issue in parliament.
Violence has continued in the far South despite the signing of the peace talks deal.
Village defence volunteer Marosi Yaning, 37, was shot dead Monday by suspected militants while riding his motorcycle in Narathiwat's Rueso district, police said.
Marosi worked as a defence volunteer in Palu Kapaero village in Bacho district.
About the author
- Writer: Post Reporters
- Position: Reporters