NSC: No plan for Pattani City special zone
- Published: 13/03/2013 at 04:23 PM
- Online news:
The government has no plan to set up a specially administered Pattani City in the far South, secretary general of the National Security Council (NSC) Paradorn Pattanathabutr affirmed on Wednesday.
Lt Gen Paradorn said reports in some media were no more than speculation that the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) would propose this as a condition of the planned peace talks with the government.
If a special governing zone were to be set up, it would take time to assess the advantages and disadvantages, complete a plan and then get final approval from the parliament, he said.
He insisted the government’s approach in peace talks with the BRN will be based on the framework set down in the constitution and focus on creating better understanding and trust between the two sides.
People come to buy food and supplies at a fresh market in Pattani province. (Photo by Abdulloh Benjakat)
Asked about the planned meeting with the BRN on March 28 in Malaysia, Lt Gen Paradorn said it would be a discussion between officials of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) and BRN representatives. National army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha would not attend the meeting.
There would be no agreement signing or other any other action that would require parliamentary consent under the Article 190 of the charter.
Normally, all conclusions derived from discussions would be tabled for discussion and consideration at a meeting with the armed forces.
Lt Gen Paradorn said had confidence that the BRN representatives the government contacted have a strong potential for distributing information to other insurgent groups in the far South.
The continued unrest in the southernmost provinces was caused by a lack of communication between the various groups’ co-leaders and their militants in remote areas, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung took the same tone, saying the government had no plan for a separate Pattani province or Pattani state.
He wsa confident peace talks with BRN would not lead to the establishment of "Pattani City" and that the peace talks agreement signed between NSC and the BRN made no deal on this issue.
“Separating any area from Thailand’s territory cannot be done,” Mr Chalerm said.
Chairman of the Narathiwat Islamic Committee Safie Jehloh said he supported the setting up of Pattani City. It could help settle the unrest in the deep South.
The chairman said the establishment of Pattani City would create growth and progress in the southernmost province, which would help minimise unrest.
He said that he, as a Thai citizen, agrees with the idea.
However, Mr Safie suggested that a public hearing on the issue should be held to hear the opinions of the majority of people before any further decision is made.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters