BANGKOK, May 10 – The Southern Operations Centre resolved not to revoke enforcement of the emergency decree in Thailand’s southernmost provinces pending further consultation among security agencies and local residents, according to the head of the National Security Council.
Speaking to reporters after a high-level security meeting Friday, Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanatabut said the meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung also discussed revoking more than 3,000 arrest warrants but no decision was made on the issue.
The Police Operations Centre in the Southern Border Provinces was assigned to speed up its public relations campaign so that more suspects with outstanding arrest warrants under the Executive Decree in Public Administration in Emergency Situations, the Internal Security Act and the Criminal Procedure Code will surrender to the authorities, Gen Paradorn said.
He added that some of those with outstanding warrants had already reported to the Army Fourth Region Command.
Regarding revoking of enforcement of the emergency decree, the NSC secretary-general said the proposal is being jointly considered among the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre, the Internal Security Operations Centre and provincial authorities. They must also heed local residents’ opinion on the issue, he said.
The meeting concluded that the next round of the peace talks between the Thai government and representatives of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) insurgent group must proceed in parallel with stringent security measures put in place in the area.
The senior security officials also discussed the five-point demand of the BRN which was recently posted on the video sharing website YouTube. They agreed that the demand went too far, and asked for too much.
However, since the BRN claimed that the demand reflects local residents’ needs and feelings, the Thai authorities are now awaiting feedback from local residents before making any move, Gen Paradorn said.
The insurgent group insisted that Malaysia be given the role of mediator, not facilitator, in the peace talks and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference be involved in the peace process.
The BRN also demanded the Thai authorities release all detained suspects without conditions, suspend and stop issuing issuing additional arrest warrants for other suspects. And the BRN’s status must be recognised as a Pattani liberation movement, not an insurgency group.