PM assigns security agencies to consider pros & cons of limited far South curfew


BANGKOK, Feb 7 — Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Thursday assigned the country’s security agencies to consider the pros and cons of imposing a curfew in the most-troubled areas of the southern border region.

Ms Yingluck said today she had asked the agencies and the authorities at work in the areas to evaluate such a possibility, the advantages and disadvantages of a curfew, to respond to Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubumrung’s idea he floated yesterday.

The premier said that she wanted the agencies concerned to work in unison and the government planned to hold a cabinet meeting in the region.

Mr Chalerm said on Wednesday that curfews might be imposed at dusk in some areas in the deep South which have been repeated targets of militant attacks.

The deputy premier said a decision on the limited curfew was not concluded as it needed discussion among agencies concerned, including the National Security Council (NSC), the military, police and local residents.

He stated his belief that the curfew would not be an imposition on local residents, and that it would be decided at a security meeting on Friday.

Mr Chalerm added that if the curfew did not work, he would revoke the measure.

Meanwhile, Fourth Army Region Commander Lt-Gen Udomchai Thamsarorach declined to comment a possible curfew, saying that his command has done its best to provide security in the insurgency-torn region, and that it was not necessary to revise the security plan.

Boonsom Thongsriprai, chairman of the Federation of Teachers in Three Southern Border Provinces declined to comment on the curfew, saying the issue was sensitive, with varied pros and cons. The most important thing, he said, was the local residents’ views and their demands should be taken into consideration.

The issue should be considered carefully and be suitable for each area, he said.

Once a curfew is decided and implemented, Mr Boonsom said, the teachers’ federation would discuss how to react to the measure.