Chalerm to propose South curfew
- Published: 6/02/2013 at 02:20 PM
- Online news:
A night-time curfew is needed in areas of the far South were insurgent attacks are most common, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said on Wednesday.
He said he will table the proposal at the next meeting of the committee for implementation of policies and strategies for solving problems in the southern border provinces.
Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat shot down the idea, saying there is no need for a curfew in the embattled South.
The committee, chaired by Mr Chalerm, is scheduled to meet Feb 15 to clearly define a line of operations to solve the insurgency problems in the troubled South.
"We have to consider a curfew," he said. ‘‘Critics can't simply oppose everything.
"How can we solve the problem?
"Something has to be done. The southern unrest is getting difficult to handle."
Chalerm Yubamrung (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)
Mr Chalerm said during his discussions with police operating in the area it was initially agreed that a night curfew should be imposed in areas where insurgency-related incidents occur repeatedly.
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It was believed a night curfew would reduce the number of incidents. The government had tried previously to impose a curfew in the troubled areas, but faced opposition from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), he said.
"A curfew will be proposed for certain areas, such as Krong Pinang and Yaring districts.
"The matter will be raised for discussion with the committee. We will look at the statistics of incidents to see where they repeatedly occur," said the deputy prime minister.
Local police are frustrated by human rights activists and critics who oppose curfews, he said.
Police have approached him about the possibility of imposing a curfew to help make their jobs easier.
Mr Chalerm said the government must take decisive action to stem the violence.
ACM Sukumpol, however, insisted no curfew was necessary.
He also said there is no need for security agencies to review their approach to tackling the unrest, even during the coming Chinese New Year celebrations.
ACM Sukumpol said the problem lies with lax enforcement of security laws.
"Local people are free to move around. They want it that way and they have to be more careful," he said. "Areas under military surveillance are safe. Anyone who wants to enter the region [and needs security protection] should contact us and we will help."
Asked about the murder in Yala's Krong Pinang district of four fruit buyers from Rayong on Tuesday, Mr Chalerm said in his opinion it was the work of an insurgent group with no ideology.
"If a curfew were to be imposed, it would be at night time," he said.
Mr Chalerm said he would rather let the military retain responsibility for operational tactics and strategy, and he and his committee would close minor loopholes, as proposed by authorities operating in the area.
He would consult on the various measures with Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr, head of the National Security Council, before the Feb 15 meeting of the committee, Mr Chalerm said.
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