Tuesday, October 27, 2020

PM wants Yala bombers rounded up fast

Aug 21. 2019
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By Jitraporn Senwong,
Nakarin Chinworakomon
The Nation

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered those responsible for Tuesday night’s multiple small-scale bomb and arson attacks in southern Yala province to be captured swiftly. Eight people including three children were injured in the attacks.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt-General Kongcheep Tantravanich said on Wednesday that the premier also urged officials to provide aid to the victims and repair damaged infrastructure so normal life could resume as soon as possible. Prayut further instructed the forward office of Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 to beef up security in the border provinces and expand operations to infiltrate insurgent groups and find links with local benefactors, Kongcheep said.

Yala Governor Anuchit Trakulmututa visited Nuriyah Yalo, 34, Sainungwati Ngaeyalee, 27, and Thaweesak Sitthichokwiwat, 47, in hospital on Wednesday with Yala special task force commander Maj General Somchat Premjit.

Anuchit presented Nuriyah with Bt30,000 in initial compensation and Bt10,000 to the others. The other five slightly injured victims had already been treated and discharged.

A national security source speaking on condition of anonymity said the apparently coordinated attacks shortly before 8pm in Muang, Yaha, Krong Pinang, Than To and Bannang Sata districts were likely carried out by a new generation of insurgents and sympathisers. 

The source said they may have been retaliating over government negotiators’ refusal in recent peace talks to sanction the release of all suspected insurgents currently in custody. 

They could have also wished to reinforce the claim of the main insurgent umbrella group, Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), that it does not operate outside the deep South, thus undermining the government’s contention that BRN ordered this month’s bomb incidents in Bangkok, the source said.

National Human Rights Commission chairman What Tingsamit condemned the Yala attacks, citing the injuries to innocent people and violations of human rights, and urged the government to speedily bring the culprits to justice and implemented measures to prevent further tragedies. 

He said the commission had established a centre at Prince of Songkhla University's Pattani Campus to assess and try to improve the rights situation in the border provinces. 

Its staff will work with citizens, academics and civil groups in guarding against future incidents while raising awareness about rights and instilling in residents the willingness to renounce violence in the interest of ending the terror and healing society.

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