Chalerm: Emergency decree to be lifted in six southern districts

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BANGKOK, March 6 – Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said on Wednesday that enforcement of the Emergency Decree will be revoked in six districts of three southern border provinces, stating the government commits to a nonviolent approach to resolving the southern violence.

However the deputy premier did not specify which six districts where the draconian law will be lifted or the timing of when the current enforcement is to be revoked.

He told a gathering of 20 local community leaders from Pattani at Government House in the capital this morning that the government decided to use peaceful means in an effort to end the nearly decade-long violence in the region through Article 21 of the Internal Security Act.

Under Article 21 a wrongdoer who innocuously violates the law and gives up to authorities could be spared from prosecution.

The Fourth Army Region Command is now pressing ahead with the talks with key leaders of insurgent groups, the deputy premier said, adding that about 20 leading insurgents will soon emerge to talk with him.

Mr Chalerm added he would travel to Malaysia’s Langkawi island March 28 to discuss Thailand’s southern insurgency with former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.