The government will consult with Malaysia about lifting the emergency decree in five districts in the deep South as part of a "step-by-step" process, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said yesterday.
“The situation in these five districts has improved,” he said.
However, Thai officials need to talk with their Malaysian counterparts to seek a solution before proceeding with relaxing measures in the area, he said after chairing the weekly Cabinet meeting in lieu of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who is away on an overseas trip.
Thai authorities are considering replacing the decree with the less draconian Internal Security Act in Pattani’s Kapho district, Yala’s Betong and Kabang districts and Narathiwat’s Waeng and Sukhirin districts.
In Yala a worker at the Highway Department’s provincial office was arrested over suspicions of being a bomb maker.
Masaopi Dormae, 26, was brought in for questioning after a search of his room turned up more than 10 mobile phones as well as phone parts, wires and electronic circuits.
He was suspected of assembling the bombs used in several attacks in the border province and in neighbouring Narathiwat as well as being involved in the explosions in Yala in 2010 and the latest over the weekend that saw two rangers killed and many others wounded.
Masaopi denied the charges.
On Monday night, heaps of tyres at 41 locations in seven districts of Yala were torched, apparently to cause a disturbance. No casualties were reported.
An unknown number of suspected insurgents were involved in the coordinated demonstrations of their presence in the province, setting car tyres ablaze at some 40 locations in all districts except Betong.
Police said the fires were found on roads in eight spots in the provincial seat, eight places in Raman, four in Kabang, two in Krong Pinang, five in Yaha, nine in Bannang Sata and five in Than To.
- In an article on National Affairs published yesterday, the Internal Security Act was described as being more draconian than the emergency decree, while in fact it is just the opposite. We regret the error.