Thawil to review deep South policy

national April 30, 2014 00:00


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Army chief also seeking to adjust South operations to make them precise, fast

NATIONAL Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri says his first mission will be to review policy on the unrest in the deep South and national security work there.
The guideline of having a peace dialogue with separatist groups – according to the caretaker government’s policy – would still be implemented along with other solutions for problems, Thawil said yesterday.
He would continue his previous work throughout the remaining five months of his term, said Thawil, who will retire in September.
Meanwhile, Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, is on his way to inspect the northern-based Army in Chiang Mai.
He said yesterday he had urged the Army Region 4 commander to adjust the southern insurgency-tackling operations and strategies to be more precise, fast and proactive, while also involving and integrating other state agencies.
On Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the Krue Se massacre in which 32 people were killed in clashes between authorities and suspected insurgents went without violence. 
More caution needed
However, Prayuth said the situation still required extra caution because the insurgents were determined to launch attacks to pressure and discredit state officials. 
He said the Army would perform various proactive measures – political and military as well as social development – in the region and that the southern unrest was a complicated issue. 
All agencies were doing their best in the hope the situation would improve soon.
First Army Region chief Lt-General Theerachai Nakwanich urged state officials to watch out for attacks during the Red Cross fair in Narathiwat’s Muang district from May 2-11.
He was told that there were 34 bomb attacks and 21 gun attacks, killing 29 persons, from October 2013 to March 2014 in Narathiwat and that officials had arrested 30 out of 93 wanted suspects in national security cases. 
He was speaking during a visit yesterday to lift the morale of soldiers in the deep South.
In Yala, Police Operations Centre for Southern Border Provinces’ chief Pol Maj-General Yongyuth Jaroenphanich reported that national security cases were only 6.88 per cent of all crimes in the restive region in the past decade (2004 to March 31, 2014).
The three southernmost provinces and Songkhla’s four districts had a total of 138,979 criminal cases (Pattani 33,203, Yala 42,781, Narathiwat 43,506 and Songkhla’s four districts 19,489), most of which stemmed from personal conflict, including political disputes and illegal trade (smuggled gasoline, narcotics).
Pattani had 3,241 national security cases, Yala 2,861, Narathiwat 3,216, and Songkhla’s four districts’ 245 cases.
In Narathiwat’s Muang district, Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre secretary-general Pol Colonel Thawee Sodsong presented awards to eight outstanding health volunteers at a ceremony to mark Health Volunteer Day yesterday.

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