Army chief orders tightened security in far South for New Year

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BANGKOK, Dec 25 – Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered government security agencies operating in the southern border provinces to tighten their security measures with more checkpoints to ensure safety during the New Year celebrations.

Gen Prayuth is visiting Sirindhorn Camp in Pattani’s Yarang district today to review the latest developments in the southern border provinces and follow up the measures implemented to address the problems.

He is also offering moral support to the agencies on the occasion of the New Year and to thank them for working tirelessly in the violence-torn southern provinces.

He told reporters before departing to Pattani that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat have instructed all agencies provide special care for the military working in the areas.

Gen Prayuth said that during the long New Year weekend, he has ordered the military to be more vigilant, more checkpoints should be set up to provide more safety to the public.

He urged the public to be patient and to cooperate fully with the authorities, always have ID cards with them and to be more careful when travelling.

The army chief said he believed that the situation in the southern provinces would be improved if all sectors cooperate to solve the problems.

As for the idea to deploy more soldiers, paramilitary rangers and border patrol police to the south to help educators in teaching in schools, Gen Prayuth said that it would depend on discussions and decisions taken among the government, the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) and Ministry of Education.