The Emergency Situation Public Administration Committee will seek approval from the Cabinet to extend the state of emergency in three restive southern provinces, from October 20th through to January 19th next year.
A state of emergency is currently in force in Narathiwat province, with the exception of Si Sakhon, Su-ngai Kolok, Waeng and Sukhirin districts, in Pattani province, with the exception of Yaring, Mayo, Mai Kaen and Mae Lan districts and in Yala province, with the exception of Betong and Kabang districts.
Deputy Prime Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, in his capacity as head of the committee, said today (Tuesday) that the committee decided to omit Krong Penang district in Yala, Thung Yang Daeng district in Pattani and Yi Ngor district in Narathiwat from state of emergency coverage and, at the same, reinstate Si Sakhon district in Narathiwat under state of emergency.
He said that there are altogether 20 districts still under a state of emergency, adding that, if the situation improves by the end of this year, 5-10 districts are expected to be removed from the list of districts under the state of emergency.
The State of Emergency Act is tougher than the National Security Act in several respects. Under a state of emergency, authorities can ban public assembly, arrest without a warrant, tap phones, examine all communications while authorities remain immune from prosecution.
Asked when the State of Emergency Act will be revoked, the deputy prime minister said no decision has been reached on the matter yet.