NSC seeks to extend emergency law
- Published: 4/03/2013 at 02:54 PM
- Online news:
Cabinet approval will be sought for the extension of the emergency decree in three southern border provinces for another three months from March 19, National Security Council chief Lt-Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr said on Monday.
He said this was decided at today's meeting of the committee on the administration of the emergency situation chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.
The emergency decree currently imposed in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces is due to expire on March 19. A proposal for the extension of the decree would be tabled to the cabinet for consideration next week, he added.
Lt-Gen Paradorn said the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) had proposed that the emergency decree be lifted in five districts - Kapho district of Pattani, Betong and Kabang districts of Yala, and Waeng and Sukhirin districts of Narathiwat.
The meeting agreed to the proposal. However, the NSC needed to first raise this matter during planned talks with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) separatist group.
If the situation in the five districts was improving, the emergency decree in the areas would be lifted and replaced with the Internal Security Act (ISA), he said.
The NSC chief the SBPAC proposal was based on the fact that there had been few violent incidents in the five districts, the readinness on the part of Interior Ministry officials and police to replace soldiers, and the opinions of the local people.
"We are confident the ISA can be enforced in the five districts. We only want this matter raised for talks with the BRN.
"After the signing of the truce pact, the Thai side wants to gauge sincerity of the other side," Lt-Gen Paradorn said.
Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said in an interview he believed the situation in the deep South would improve following the signing of an agreement for talks with the BRN.
"The signing of the agreement was the first key, which must be under the Thai constitution," he said.
ACM Sukumpol said there must be further talks to come to a consensus on what would be raised for negotiation, how and where.
On former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's comment that he had talks with Sapae-ing Basor, a core member of the BRN, who had conveyed the group's proposals to him, ACM Sukumpol said he had not seen them, adding that what had been done was only the beginning of the peace initiative.
ACM Sukumpol did not give a direct reply when asked about suggestions Hassan Taib, the BRN liaison official who signed the agreement with the NSC chief, might be the same person who was taken by Gen Chettha Thanajaro, the former army chief, to announce a ceasefire in the deep South without conditions on TV Chanel 5 in 2008.
He said only that the people who said this were people who did not want to see any progress made.
Asked why Thaksin, who once branded southern insurgents cheap bandits, had changed his stance, ACM Sukumpol said the situation had changed.
"Now we know what is what," he said.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
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