Government to step up work to resolve insurgency


BANGKOK, May 15 – Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said on Tuesday that the government will step up integrated work of all concerned agencies to tackle violence in Thailand’s restive southern border region, while threatened to withdraw budget allocated to agencies in case of failed performance.

The deputy premier made the remark ahead of the first meeting of the newly-established strategic committee responsible for the strife-torn southern border provinces this afternoon to prepare for a workshop with all concerned agencies scheduled for Thursday.

He said, from now on, a politically-driven approach and development will lead the military operations.

“We will instruct concerned ministries, as it has been eight years now, but there is not much progress in tackling problems in the far South due to discontinuous policies towards the region and lack of integration of related bodies,” the deputy premier stated.

Gen Yuthasak said there will be performance assessments every three months, and if any ministry cannot achieve the goal set in the strategic framework, the budget which has been allocated to it will be returned to the government.

The deputy premier added that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will be informed of the failed performance of the assigned ministry and this can also be considered as the personal failure of the minister.

Regarding the recent grenade attack at a Red Cross Fair in Narathiwat municipality which injured one soldier and five local residents, Gen Yuthasak said an investigation is underway but he believed the assailants were the same persons who had launched previous attacks to create daily disturbance in the region.

More than 5,000 people, including civilians, soldiers, government officials and insurgents were killed since violence erupted in the restive southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat in 2004.