Emergency decree could be extended in Deep South

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BANGKOK, 4 March 2013 Chief of the National Security Council (NSC) Lt. Gen. Paradorn Pattanathabutr believes the enforcement of the emergency decree in parts of the Deep South will be extended for three more months when it is proposed to the cabinet next week.

The decision to extend the emergency decree imposition in the southern border region was reached during a meeting of the special committee overseeing the situation in the restive South at Government House. According to Lt. Gen. Paradorn, who also attended the meeting, the committee is set to forward the proposal to the cabinet for approval next week.

On the other hand, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) has submitted a proposal to replace the state of emergency in the southern border provinces with the less harsh Internal Security Act (ISA). The NSC chief commented that the matter has been accepted for consideration and the agency will have to assess the situation and local officers’ readiness before the emergency decree could be replaced with the ISA as suggested.

Last week, the Thai government signed a peace agreement with the rebel group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) in Kuala Lumpur. The NSC is now coordinating with Malaysian authorities to determine the date for upcoming formal peace talks between the group and the Thai representatives.