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Proposal would lift emergency decree in 4 southern districts

Jack Burton

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Thailand’s 4th Army plans to seek approval for the Executive Decree for Administration in Emergency Situations to be lifted in 4 southern districts, according to an army spokesman. The districts have been free of insurgency activities for a considerable time, and Pattani’s Mai Kaen district is likely to be the first to see the relaxation, the spokesman said today.

The emergency decree, not to be confused with the nationwide Emergency Decree imposed by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to combat the spread of Covid-19, was initially imposed in the entirety of the 3 southern border provinces, namely Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, which have long been plagued with a Muslim separatist insurgency. Since then, the decree has been lifted in certain districts. A soldier was slightly injured in an apparent ambush in Narathiwat’s Bacho district last night.

The proposal to lift the decree in Pattani’s Mai Kaen district was made in a recent meeting with officials from the National Security Council, according to the 4th Army spokesman. The next step is for the proposal to be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

He said the 3bother districts where the emergency decree could be lifted are, in order of priority, Kabang district in Yala, Waeng district in Narathiwat and the Kapho district in Pattani.

He said an evaluation of the southern border provinces is made every 3 months to decide where the decree should remain in force and where it should be lifted. Factors taken into account include the attitudes of people toward the authorities and the frequency of insurgency activities.

The emergency decree has already been lifted in 5 districts: Pattani’s Mae Lan district; Betong district in Yala; and Sungai Kolok, Si Sakhon and Sukhirin districts in Narathiwat.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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