Insurgents offered 'training'
The government has agreed in principle on a proposal to amend the internal security law to allow those facing an arrest warrant in criminal cases linked with the southern insurgency to turn themselves, take part in a training programme and eventually go free.
The proposal was approved at a recent meeting of the government's committee on emergency situation management which discussed various proposals for solving the southern unrest, said an informed source.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon.
The proposed amendment to the Internal Security Act 2008 is hoped to provide suspected insurgents with an incentive to surrender to the authorities and undergo a six-month army programme aimed at extracting information useful for the security of the region, said the source.
After this programme, the individuals will undergo occupational training before being placed on probation for two years.
After fulfilling the probation requirements, the military will request that the Office of the Attorney-General drop the criminal cases against the participants, said the source.
Once finalised, the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) will propose the draft amendment to lawmakers.
The committee also agreed to ask the cabinet to extend the emergency decree currently invoked in most parts of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat for another three months, from June 20 until Sept 19.
The aim is to help bolster peace efforts in the violence-plagued areas, according to the source.