NSC extends emergency decree for three months
The National Security Council (NSC) has extended the enforcement of the emergency decree in the violence-plagued southern region for another three months.
NSC secretary-general Thawip Netniyom said the decision will be forwarded to the cabinet for consideration next week and, if approved, the extension will take effect from June 20.
The emergency decree has been enforced in three provinces of Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani and four districts of Chana, Na Thawi, Saba Yoi and Thepha in Songkhla to help tackle insurgent violence.
Gen Thawip said the meeting also reviewed a plan involving the scaling down of the use of the emergency decree in areas under the supervision of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Region 4 Forward Command.
The meeting made a number of recommendations to Isoc Region 4 which will use them to revise the plan, he said.
According to the NSC chief, when considering lifting or scaling back enforcement of the decree in the region eight conditions must be taken into account.
These include the frequency of violent incidents, the activities of militant groups, and the success of the Pracharath (peoplestate partnership) project and other state initiatives to foster peace.
He said the plan was suggested by the prime minister after the NSC submitted a proposal to the cabinet seeking to ease the use of the emergency decree in the deep South.
Gen Thawip said the move is not intended to pave the way for the lifting of the emergency decree and replacing it with the Internal Security Act.
He also insisted it has nothing to do with a call for the government to discuss setting up “safe zones” as part of peace talks with militant groups, while pointing out that all these efforts share the same goal.