Cabinet extends emergency decree for another two months


BANGKOK, July 12 – The Cabinet on Tuesday extended the emergency decree in Thailand’s violence-plagued southern border provinces for another 60 days, outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said today.

Mr Abhisit said after the cabinet meeting that the body endorsed the extension of the the emergency decree in the three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat—with the exception of Pattani’s Mae Lan district–for another 60 days. The emergency decree is due to expire on July 20.

The National Security Council (NSC) asked the cabinet to extend the law for another three months but the prime minister believed that three months is too long while a one-month extension is not enough.

To facilitate the continuity of work for the new government, the cabinet approved two-month extension pending the formation of the new government, he said.

The emergency decree was put in place in the country’s three southernmost border provinces in mid-2005.

The special law helps the authorities in their operations to protect local residents and to arrest more suspected insurgents.

Effected by executive order of then prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in July 2005, the emergency decree has been enforced three months at a time ever since, with regular renewals.

The decree gives Thailand’s security forces sweeping powers in arresting and detaining suspects.