BANGKOK, Oct 10 – Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yuthasak Sasiprapa instructed the army chief to step up security measures in the three southern border provinces as today is an anniversary of the establishment of one of the anti-government insurgent groups on the Thai-Malay border.
As national security is in his portfolio, the deputy premier said he asked army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to step up security measures in the region following threats of attacks at marketplaces and business areas on Fridays.
Gen Yuthasak reasoned that the extra security was necessary as today is the anniversary of the establishment of Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu Patani (BRN).
The deputy premier said he believed the situation on this coming Friday will improve, but authorities must boost the confidence of local residents.
Merchants and shoppers in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and some districts of Songkhla are still fearful of the anonymous threats that opening for business on Fridays would make them potential targets of insurgent violence. Many shopkeepers decided to close their businesses on Friday during the past two weeks.
“The government will not declare Fridays as a holiday, I call on the public not to believe the distributed flyers as this is not the government’s policy,” Gen Yuthasak asserted.
He pointed out that 15 locations in Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat are under close watch. Most of them are in the provincial seats.
The authorities recently detained persons suspected of distributing the flyers, he said. The arrests succeeded with the help of local residents provided information to the authorities that led to the arrests.
“This is a good sign that the public has begun to trust the authorities and that the government will communicate with them via the soon-to-be launched Yawi dialect television channel,” Gen Yuthasak said.