Intelligence works in Deep South did not fail: National Security Council chief


BANGKOK, Sept 1 – The National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Pol Gen Wichean Potephosree on Saturday inspected the situation in the restive southern province of Yala following the latest disturbances in Deep South, while reaffirming efficiency of ongoing intelligence work.

The NSC chief visit came as symbolic insurgent movements were conducted on Friday in the southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla with dozens of both dummy and real bombs planted in several locations, together with the Malaysian nationals flags.

Gen Wichean said he has been assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to follow up the situation in seven main districts of the southernmost provinces, as well as the progress of development strategy implementation and the installation of more closed circuit televisions.

The NSC chief admitted that Friday’s widespread bombings were aimed at causing symbolic disturbances and the perpetrators intentionally used the Malaysian flags to incite a rift between the two neighbouring countries.

Gen Wichean said Thailand and Malaysian has close ties in tackling the insurgency problems, as intelligence agencies have been informed of possible attacks on the crucial day by an insurgent group.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Yutthasak Sasiprapa, who oversees national security, earlier said that Friday’s widespread public disturbances were aimed at drawing attention to the anniversary of the Bersatu separatist group’s establishment and to show the public that the Malaysia-originated group is still operating.

Gen Wichean, however, said it was hard to prevent the attacks due to the vast area covered and that the attacks were carried out outside the government’s priority designated “safety zones.”

“Intelligence work did not fail. We gave warnings continuously,” said the NSC secretary-general.

Following a fire at Super Department Store in Narathiwat late Friday night, Gen Wichean said the incident may linked to the ongoing symbolic moves of an insurgent group, but that he has to wait for more details about the case.