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15 Feb, 2016

Violence in South Thailand down 38%, Internal Security Agency claims

Bangkok, 14 February 2016, Thai Public Relations Department – The situation in the southern border provinces has shown positive trends. A decrease in the number of violent incidents during the past three months has been reported.

The report was issued by the Deputy Spokesman of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), Region 4 Forward, Colonel Yuttanam Petchmoang, who summarized the southern situation to the press.

He said that in the past three months, there were only 75 violent incidents in the deep South, a decline by 38 percent from 113 in the same period of the previous year. Casualties also dropped by 68 percent, with 16 people killed and 61 injured. Security officials were able to stop 24 bombing attempts on various routes.

During the same period, a total of 1,139 people reported themselves to the authorities in order to enter the justice process, under the project “Bring People Back Home.” This project provides an opportunity for those who have been misled into creating unrest to turn over a new leaf.

As for peace dialogues, Colonel Yuttanam said that public forums had been held to allow members of all sectors, especially civil society, to express their views on this issue. The ISOC Region 4 Forward is also creating an atmosphere favorable to the peace talks with groups of people holding different views to that of the state.

He explained that the southern situation has improved because of the successful implementation of major strategies. Apart from adopting the “politics leads the military” approach in peace-building operations, the Government has also upheld His Majesty the King’s royal advice to “understand, reach out, and develop” for tackling problems in the deep South.

Emphasis is placed on the adoption of peaceful means, strict law enforcement, and the principles of human rights, based on accountability and justice.

In dealing with the southern situation, the Government also focuses on a development-led approach to eradicating poverty and drug problems, improving education, and providing greater opportunities for local people.

The Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, inspired by His Majesty the King, has also been emphasized. The approach behind this philosophy highlights improving the people’s quality of life and tackling various problems in a holistic manner. A number of learning centers based on the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy have been established in the southern border provinces, where people can meet and learn about making a living in a sustainable way.

Officials responsible for handling the southern situation are also adopting the Government’s strategy of “Pracharat,” or the “state of the people,” which enables state officials and local residents to work closely together.