Thailand’s Emergency Decree in the Deep South

The Cabinet has decided to extend the enforcement of the Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations in the three southern border provinces for another three months, from 20 September to 19 December 2013.

Photo courtesy of Reuters

Muslim Thais praying for the deceased. [Photo courtesy of Reuters]

The decision covers all districts in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat provinces, except Mae Lan district in Pattani.

The Internal Security Operations Command is considering a proposal to revoke the emergency decree in five districts, namely Sukhirin and Waeng in Narathiwat, Kabang and Betong in Yala, and Mai Kaen in Pattani. Out of the five districts, Kabang in Yala will be the first district to revoke the decree under this pilot project.

In this regard, the Internal Security Operations Command was told by the Cabinet to work with the Ministry of Interior and the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center. If they agree that the time is suitable for Kabang district, an announcement can be made to revoke the emergency decree in Kabang without waiting for another three months after the end of the enforcement of the decree.

The Government began to use the emergency decree in July 2005, covering Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla (Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi). Later, in late 2009, it replaced the emergency decree with the Internal Security Act in the four districts of Songkhla, taking account of the improved situation there. In 2010, the emergency decree was revoked in Mae Lan district, Pattani province, and was replaced by the Internal Security Act. So far the emergency decree has been revoked in five districts in the deep South.

It has been over nine years now since unrest erupted in the deep South. Statistics show that from January 2004 to June 2013, a total of 13,434 violent incidents took place in the southern border provinces; 5,755 people died and 10,201 were injured. Out of this number, 58.97 percent of the dead were Muslim and 38.45 percent were Buddhist. As for the injured, 31.47 percent were Muslim and 59.05 percent were Buddhist.

The violent acts that took place from 2004 to 2013 were most serious in 10 districts, namely Mueang Yala, Bunnang Sata, and Raman in Yala; Ra-ngae, Rueso, and Su-ngai Padi in Narathiwat; and Mueang Pattani, Nong Chik, Sai Buri, and Yarang in Pattani.

During the first six months of 2013, violence was the most serious in Raman district of Yala, followed by Yarang and Sai Buri in Pattani, Rueso in Narathiwat, and Nong Chik in Pattani, respectively.

The Government is proceeding with its plan to continue peace dialogue with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN). The five-point demand by BRN is being studied by security agencies. It is expected that the new round of peace dialogue between the Thai government and BRN will take place on 20 October 2013.

Source: Gov’t PR Dept


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