Security agency warns southern group against idea of referendum
The 4th Internal Security Operations Forward Command said on Friday that it would not allow the holding of a referendum on separation of territory in the deep South.
The security agency was reacting to a proposal by a group of student activists in the South called "Pelajar Kebangsaan”, who organised a special talk on "Self-determination and Pattani peace" at Prince of Songkhla University Pattani Campus on Tuesday.
The group also organised a survey on social media, asking people if Pattani locals could hold a referendum on territory separation in line with laws, triggering concern and panic among people.
The 4th Internal Security Operations Forward Command said the group’s actions amounted to a call for self-determination.
It said that politicians, political party members, academics and student networks had participated in the special talk on Tuesday, adding that the group activity on social media was likely a violation of the laws.
“We would like to confirm that the government sector has promoted and supported the rights and liberties for political expression under a democracy among people of all communities and religions,” it said.
“However, the expression should not violate laws and the territorial integrity stipulated in the Constitution under ‘Thailand is one and indivisible Kingdom’.”
The security agency said that a referendum on territory separation could not be organised as it would be a violation of the laws and the territorial integrity of the country, and it could trigger a threat to the country's security.
The agency said it was collecting evidence and monitoring the behaviour of people involved in the group activities, to ensure they performed their duties as appropriate.