It’s official, no curfew in far South

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BANGKOK, Feb 15 – A curfew will not be declared in three Muslim-predominant provinces in Thailand’s deep South, but intelligence and anti-violence operations will be fully upgraded, a senior security official said today.

Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary general of the National Security Council, said the decision was made in the crucial meeting of the Centre for Implementation of Policies and Strategies for Solving Southern Problems, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung.

He said the meeting thoroughly discussed the proposal by taking into consideration opinions from southern people, religious leaders and documents supplied by governors of the three southernmost provinces – Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

The meeting also studied reports from Lt-Gen Udomchai Thammasarorat, Fourth Region Army Commander, and Pol Col Thawee Sodsong, secretary general of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre.

Lt Gen Paradorn said the meeting were concerned about possible revenge by militants after 16 were killed in an ambush an a marine outpost in Narathiwat’s Bacho district Wednesday morning.

He said the meeting also discussed a proposal to arm village headmen in violence-prone communities but the idea was ruled out given the necessity to train them to be capable of using weapons.