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INSIDE THAILAND
Decline in Violent Incidents in the Deep South

25 December 2016

The situation in the southern border provinces has gradually improved, with a decrease in the number of violent incidents, according to the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC).
 
The improvement of the southern situation was cited as a result of strict law enforcement and success in the implementation of the project "Bring People Back Home, which provides opportunities for those who have been misled into creating unrest to turn over a new leaf. Moreover, most local people do not agree with the violent acts and have turned to give more cooperation to the authorities.
 
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha stressed that the Government was determined to handle the southern issue through peaceful means and the participation of all sectors involved. He also urged members of NGOs and the media, academics, students, and the general public to join hands in resolving southern problems.
 
The Government is ready to listen to their views and useful suggestions for lasting peace in the deep South. He said that history should not be distorted and that people in the area must live peacefully, just as multicultural communities in other parts of the world do.
 
The Government has been supporting development work in the deep South to ease local problems, especially poverty. The Ministry of Education had been assigned to adjust the curriculum in the southern border provinces, with the inclusion of both basic education and religious knowledge. The adjustment aims to provide greater employment opportunities for local young people.
 
Apart from development work, security must also be emphasized to handle southern issues. It will be stepped up on all routes where the people in Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla travel in their daily lives.
 
The Cabinet on 4 October 2016 approved the appointment of a team of special representatives of the Government in solving problems in the southern border provinces. The team is led by Deputy Defense Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr. Deputy Education Minister General Surachet Chaiwong serves as deputy head of the team, while former Secretary-General of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center Panu Uthairat serves as secretary of the team.
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