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Army chief assesses situation in deep South after soldiers’ withdrawal

Nov 19. 2016
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By The Sunday Nation

Army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisat visited the deep South yesterday to follow up last month’s mass military withdrawal that left only soldiers from the Fourth Army Region there.

In Narathiwat’s Muang district, Chalermchai – accompanied by Army deputy chief of staff Lt-General Nattapon Nakpanich and the Navy’s Marine Division chief Rear Admiral Sangkorn Pongsiri – attended a meeting with Narathiwat Task Force commander Maj-General Vicharn Suksong and 100 related unit chiefs from 13 districts. 

He was told that newly deployed officers to the region had adjusted to the environment and had managed to get the local people to participate in the problem-solving to a certain degree while officers in some areas were still doing community relations work to try and gain residents’ trust. 

Chalermchai urged officers to apply mass psychology before military force and said they could request more manpower and weapons if needed. 

He emphasised the importance of military participation in propelling the government’s project to develop Nong Chik in Pattani, Betong in Yala and Sungai Kolok in Narathiwat into model cities. He also spoke of the need to boost public and investor confidence so the project could proceed to the second phase. 

Chalermchai expressed sorrow for the Pattani car-bomb attack last week that wounded five and damaged property. He said he told officers to take care of the wounded and improve intelligence work.

Meanwhile, security officers inspected suspicious vehicles parked in Betong’s economic zone to prevent a car-bomb attack.


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