Emergency decree set to be extended
The government's emergency situation committee on Friday agreed to extend the enforcement of an emergency decree on public administration in the deep South for another three months, said a senior security official.
Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, the committee decided the decree should be imposed in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat from Sept 20 to Dec 19, except in Mae Lan and Betong districts in Yala and in Sukhirin and Sungai Kolok districts of Narathiwat, said Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh, secretary-general of the National Security Council.
The executive decree has been enforced in the three restive provinces to facilitate security operations and ensure peace and order in the restive region. The current enforcement ends on Sept 19, he said.
Gen Wanlop said the committee also recommended that a more lenient internal security operations law be enforced in Si Sakhon district in Narathiwat, instead of the emergency decree. The proposal will be submitted to the cabinet for approval.
He said the Region 4 Forward Command of the Internal Security Operations Command is responsible for assessing the security situation and recommending removal of areas under the emergency decree based on situation indicators.
According to Gen Wanlop, the emergency situation committee also approved a proposal that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission take over the task of registering mobile phone users in the far South from the Digital Economy and Society Ministry.
Compulsory registration applies to residents in Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and four adjacent districts of Songkhla.
Gen Prawit, meanwhile, said Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Changmongkol, who is also deputy chair of a steering committee on solving southern violence, has been assigned to oversee peace talks until a new head of the Thai negotiating team is appointed.
The government is expected to find a new chief negotiator to replace Gen Udomchai Thammasaroraj, who was appointed as a senator.