Surachet Wae-asae and representatives of the Narathiwat public held a news conference on Sunday, calling on the government to abolish the Emergency Decree in some southern areas where violence has diminished and, instead, use the Internal Security Act in areas such as Betong and Than To districts of Yala, Kapho and Mai Kaen districts of Pattani and Sukhirin, Waeng, Su-ngai Kolok and Tak Bai districts of Narathiwat.
They said army troops in the South should be reduced to be replaced by police and civilian forces, adding that the southern operations should be carried out in accord with the 2012-2014 policy on administration and development policy for the southern border provinces, set by the National Security Council (NSC).
Regarding the NSC’s recent agreement with a southern insurgent group for peace talks, they said all parties concerned including political, economic and social representatives as well as southern people should join the negotiations.
It should not be left only to the Wadah group to join the talks, they said. The Wadah group, representing MPs and Muslim representatives in the South, was appointed by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung to give its advice on resolution to the southern unrest.
Mr Surachet said the government should create understanding among southern people concerning the peace process so that people support the government’s move.