Yuthasak rules out designating Friday as holiday


BANGKOK, Oct 9 — Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa said Tuesday that it is not possible to designate Friday as holiday but said security personnel will be reinforced to ensure security for the public on Fridays.

Merchants and shoppers in the southernmost provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and some districts of Songkhla are still fearful of the anonymous threats that opening for business on Fridays would make market vendors or business operators potential targets of insurgent violence.

The deputy premier who oversees national security said the government would restore confidence among local residents about their safety in the southernmost provinces as a security plan has been prepared for Fridays.

Gen Yuthasak said he is confident that the situation this week will be better than last week and definitely gradually improve for the coming Fridays as it is impossible to make Fridays holidays.

Other Muslim countries also have days off on Saturdays and Sundays not Fridays, he said.

No one could force traders to stop their businesses, he said, adding that until now it is still not known who made the threat.

The public should not value the people who even not dare to show themselves, he added.

Threats of attacks—bombings and shootings—by word of mouth and in leaflets, have been distributed throughout southern Thailand’s three Muslim-predominant provinces for several weeks. Many shops in and around busy marketplaces were closed on Friday during the past two weeks.

Most traders in the three southernmost provinces said they would rather be safe than take a chance of being targeted by violence.