Defence minister to visit deep South tomorrow


BANGKOK, Dec 24 – Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat is scheduled to visit Thailand’s insurgency-torn deep South on Tuesday to follow up the situation and boost moral support for military personnel.

Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol said his visit is set near the New Year festive season to boost the spirit of security personnel deployed in the restive southern border region.

The minister said he believes the situation there will improve as all concerned agencies understand well the government’s policy to tackle violence in far South.

He said the operations plan will be adjusted in accordance with the situation as the violence in the deep South is quite complex, while the assailants’ operations are quite dynamic.

“The New Year gift that (we) want to give the public on behalf of supervisor of security agencies is that (we) will monitor the situation in the restive region at best and there will be some changes in the areas soon.”, pledged the defence minister.

Marshal Sukumpol urged the media to use caution in reporting  the southern unrest as it is a sensitive issue.

More than 5,000 people, including local residents, security officials, monks and insurgents, have been killed since violence erupted in the restive southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat in 2004.