Integrated counter-insurgency measures launched to protect southern teachers

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PATTANI, Dec 19 – Thai government security authorities and provincial officials at all levels have been instructed to remain alert without respite and work in full force to ensure safety for school teachers in this southern province, the provincial governor said.

Pattani Governor Pramook Lamoon invited community, village, and religious leaders, as well as teachers and local educators, to a meeting with security officials to inform them of the new measures to provide security to teachers who have been targets of insurgent attacks.

Teachers are to commute between their homes and schools in armoured vehicles if requested, the governor said, adding that border patrol police and rangers who have teaching background or credentials are encouraged to apply for teaching jobs due to the shortage of educators.

He said insurgency-affected areas are divided into three degrees–serious, mild and light–in order to facilitate deployment of government forces accordingly.

The new measures called on the authorities to strictly abide by the law in carrying out their duties without violating human rights or creating hatred among the people.

Mr Pramook said a series of attacks on teachers in a number of districts has shaken the public’s faith in the government’s security measures, compelling provincial authorities to be more proactive in providing safety, especially to teachers.

A number of teachers at government primary schools in this southern province have been killed or wounded in shootings by insurgents, some in broad daylight.

The worsening situation prompted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to go South last week to boost teachers morale with a promise to improve their welfare.