PM: Conclusion on curfew in deep South should be reached Friday


BANGKOK, Feb 11 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has instructed concerned agencies to come to a conclusion whether to impose curfews in selected areas of Thailand’s far South in a meeting set for Friday, while the army still insists that a curfew is unnecessary, the National Security Council (NSC) chief said Monday.

NSC Sec-Gen Lt-Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr said after a security meeting chaired by the premier today that the army continues in the belief that there is no need for curfews in the Muslim-predominant provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

As the views on the special law enforcement are differing, Gen Paradorn said, the premier asked all concerned agencies to come to a conclusion on the matter in the Friday meeting of the operations centre for implementation of policies and strategies for solving problems in the region.

The idea of a curfew in selected areas of far South was floated by Deputy Premier Chalerm Yubamrung following repeated attacks on the public and government forces in the restive South.

Gen Paradorn also noted that the people’s voice on imposing a curfew will also be taken into account. He stated that if the meeting agrees to invoke such law, the prime minister herself can endorse its enforcement immediately without cabinet approval.

Meanwhile, army deputy spokesman Col Winthai Suwaree said the Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 which supervises the insurgency-torn areas is awaiting a decision from Friday’s meeting

He said Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha instructed the military to tighten security and asked local residents to cooperate more closely with security agencies for their safety.

Regarding the Sunday bombing and shooting which claimed lives of five soldiers in Yala’s Raman district, Col Winthai said one suspect was arrested and he confessed that he strewed spikes on the road and acted as a lookout for the assailants.

Investigators also learned that, within one month, the same insurgents launched three similar attacks targeting soldiers. (MCOT online news)