Deep South emergency extended for 47th time

YALA - The government has extended the use of the emergency decree for another three months in Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani provinces, but excluding Pattani's Mae Lan district.

The extension is effective from March 20, Col Yuthanam Phetmuang said on Thursday.

The decree was first enacted by the Thaksin Shinawatra government in July, 2005,, and has been extended by three months by every government since then.

The draconian measure is similar to martial law, and allows arrests without warrant, holding suspects indefinitely in isolation and gives full immunity.

The Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 deputy spokesman said that during the last three-month extension of the emergency decree security officials were able to temper the insurgency problem to an extent and arrest a number of militants.

However, since the violence continued the prime minister and cabinet saw it necessary to extend the imposition of the decree in the three provinces for another three months, Col Yuthanam said.

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