File Photo
File Photo

Plan for police attachés

national May 18, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

Panel suggests two of rank of colonel be posted at the embassy in Malaysia to help tackle southern insurgency.



TWO POLICE attachés need to be appointed at the Thai Embassy in Malaysia to help the government solve the insurgency problem in the far South, a senior official said yesterday.

The Strategic Committee for Solving Problems in the Southern Border Provinces resolved at its meeting yesterday to seek appointment of a police attaché and a deputy police attaché at the Thai mission in Kuala Lumpur, Pol Lt-General Paitoon Chuchaiya, a member of the panel, said.

The committee, also known informally as the Forward Cabinet for the South, met yesterday at the Defence Ministry. The panel is headed by Deputy Defence Minister General Udomdej Sitabutr.

Paitoon said yesterday the two mission members from the police force would be tasked with coordinating with Malaysian authorities on intelligence gathering, transnational crime and security matters in tackling the insurgency problem in the deep South.

He said the committee would urge the Foreign Ministry to consider its proposal to have police attachés at the Thai mission in Malaysia. He was speaking at a press conference held after the committee’s meeting.

The Thai Embassy in Malaysia at present has a liaison office on police affairs.

Paitoon added that it was his proposal that the committee should appoint police attachés in Malaysia, which shares a border with Thailand. “We need police attachés to help with coordination and problem-solving at the Thai Embassy in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia have had police attachés at their mission in Thailand for a long time,” he said.

The Thai police attachés in Malaysia will have to be of the rank of police colonel, able to communicate in English and have a good understanding of the responsibilities, Paitoon said. 

The Royal Thai Police began appointing police attachés to an overseas Thai mission in 2014, and now there are Thai police attachés in three countries – China, Cambodia and Myanmar – according to Paitoon. He added that their performance has been “satisfactory”.

At its meeting yesterday, the committee also discussed increasing the southern border region’s capacity in producing electricity by building small biomass-fired power plants, according to General Chamlong Khunsong, a panel member.

Tighter security

The panel also resolved that |following the recent car-bomb attack at a Big C retail store in Pattani, security measures must be tightened and the relevant authorities must improve their relationships with local residents, he said.

“To successfully solve the insurgency problem and attain peace in the southern border provinces, the military, police and civilian authorities have to blend perfectly with the local residents. The locals don’t want violence but they need to trust the authorities,” Chamlong said.

It was agreed that the installation of more security cameras would help find culprits involved in attacks and serve as a deterrent against possible attacks in the future.

Jamnan Muendam, a member of the committee, told a press conference yesterday that the Education Ministry is drafting a 20-year strategy to improve the quality of education in the far South, as part of efforts to resolve the insurgency problem.

In regard to the involvement of some “ustad” (Muslim scholars at religious schools) in violent insurgent attacks, he said the Education Ministry would become stricter in checking the backgrounds of “ustad” candidates. 

Meanwhile, the authorities have asked local religious leaders to prevent insurgents or perpetrators of violence from using mosques or Muslim schools to plot or carry out their attacks, Fourth Army Area commander Lt-General Piyawat Nakwanich, whose jurisdiction covers the southern border provinces, said.

He said a meeting would be held this Saturday for local religious leaders to discuss the matter.

A Buddhist man was recently killed at a deserted mosque and his pickup truck was used to carry a powerful explosive device in the Pattani car-bomb attack.

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