Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan is expected to soon propose to the Cabinet that they extend the state of emergency in the deep South for another three months from March 20 to June 19.
The Defence Minister also wants to remove Yala’s Betong district from coverage under the state of emergency, said National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general General Wanlop Rugsanaoh on Friday. Agencies have endorsed Betong district as meeting the criteria to be promoted as a “model city”.
The state of emergency extension would cover three border provinces comprising Yala, Pattani (except Mae Lan district) and Narathiwat. If Betong district was removed from the state of emergency coverage, it would instead be covered by measures under the Internal Security Act 2008, Wanlop said.
The issues of extending the state of emergency but removing Betong from it were discussed at the emergency situation committee’s meeting on Friday morning at Government House. Prawit presided over this meeting which was attended by Wanlop, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, national police deputy chief Pol General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, and other representatives of the Armed Forces.