PHOTOS: The Nation
Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has responded to escalating violence in the strife-torn South today by saying that the people behind the deadly attack at a temple in Narathiwat province on Friday night were seeking to ramp up attention given to the violence in the South to the international level and lure officials into conducting “forceful suppression”.
“Those who were behind the attack in Narathiwat’s Sungai Padi district on January 19 intended to destroy morale, spirits as well as the patience of Thailand in using peaceful methods to solve the ongoing conflicts and violence in the South.”
“They want us to use all-out suppression so that the case could draw international attention and later international involvement, as has happened in many countries facing internal violence,” he added.
“The attackers also exploited for their own benefit the reports in the media and social-media platforms concerning the attack in which two monks were killed, using them as channels for spreading their acts inside and outside the country.”
Trying to suppress coverage of the violence the PM urged the media to be careful with their coverage.
“The media and social-network users should understand the issues and help create confidence and be cautious in their reporting, so that they do not become supporters of the attackers.”
He acknowledged that the size of the areas subject to attacks had made it difficult for the authorities to fully take care of people, as well as sensitive targets such as teachers, students, monks and religious leaders.
“Those who want special protection should alert officials and authorities concerned. The public should help the authorities by providing information.”
Prayut also asked politicians to be careful in the statements they use in their political campaigns for the upcoming national election.
He vowed to continue the peace talks between the authorities and insurgents’ movements and groups, in order to demonstrate to the world that “we have adopted all kinds of measures, not only law enforcement, to restore peace in the southern region of Thailand”.
SOURCE: The Nation
Southern insurgency: Ranger shot dead in Songkhla house
FILE PHOTO: The latest shooting in a spate of recent violence in the southern provinces – The Nation
A ranger based in Yala has been shot dead at his home in Songkhla’s Muang district.
Pol Capt Adirek Burintrapibal, the deputy inspector of Muang Songkhla police station, was alerted at 8.30pm last night of the shooting at a house in Moo 10 village in Tambon Pawong.
The Nation reports that 43 year old Charoen Moraphan died when a bullet hit him in the left side of his chest.
His wife, Khiew, says she was at the back of the house while Charoen was watching TV in the living room facing towards the front door. She says her husband was on leave from his Yala ranger base for two weeks.
Police claim a gunman inserted a gun barrel through the front door and opened fire at Charoen, hitting him once in the chest.
Police are yet to identify the motive for the killing, the latest in a spate of violence in the southern provinces.
50+ motorbike taxi drivers blockade southern border
50 Thai motorcycle taxi drivers have set up a blockade at the Thai-Malaysian border checkpoint to protest what they allege are unworkable, stricter immigration checks now imposed by Malaysian immigration officials.
The taxi drivers say they have been bringing Thai tourists across the border in Songkhla’s Sadao district to the duty-free shops in Malaysia’s Padang Besar for years.
Yesterday morning’s temporary blockade delayed several buses and cars carrying dozens of Malaysian tourists heading to Hat Yai.
Thai immigration police, army troops and local administration officials intervened and persuaded the taxi drivers to move their 50+ bikes blocking the road.
Drivers initially refused, demanding that Thai immigration officials negotiate with their Malaysian counterparts to ease the border crossing restrictions.
The border crossing process has been tightened in recent months by requiring production of a valid passport instead of border passes as was the case in the past. But many Thai motorcycle taxi drivers do not have passports and say the new restrictions are overly restrictive and an alternative solution should be accommodated.
Four rangers escape unharmed after insurgents’ attack in Narathiwat
MAP: Narathiwat’s Ra Ngae district
Four rangers have escaped unhurt after southern insurgents detonated a roadside bomb in an attack in Narathiwat’s Ra Ngae district this morning.
Police say the attack happened at 8.10am on a main road in Ban Pa Phai village in Tambon Tanyong.
The bomb damaged a makeshift shelter for vendors to buy rubber latex from local villagers.
Police say the patrol of four rangers was approaching the area when the homemade bomb was detonated. But the timing was not right and the blast didn’t harm the rangers.
SOURCE: The Nation
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