For immediate release on 15 June 2012
Prime Minister urged to discontinue the renewal of Emergency Degree for three months to enhance development, healing and dialogue as proposed in the NSC’s and SBPAC’s policy
In their letter dated 15 June 2012, the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) and Foundation of Muslim Attorney Centre (MAC) referred to the last renewal of Emergency Decree in the three Southern Border Provinces including Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat made on 13 March 2012 and had been effective since 20 March. The 27th renewal shall be expired on 19 June 2012.
In the open letter, the PM is urged to experiment with a three month moratorium of the Emergency Decree. It shall give a grace period of time during which concerned agencies can implement their activities as per the strategic framework set out by both the National Security Council (NSC) and the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center (SBPAC) with an emphasis on enhancing development and peace. The temporary discontinuation of the Emergency Decree will also bring about more confidence among ASEAN nations.
Previously, the Committee to Mobilize Policy and Strategy to Solve Problems in the Southern Border Provinces has been established by the government and an agreement has been reached to integrate strategies of SBPAC seeking to nurture development and the role of the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) to ensure security under the 2012-2015 Strategic Framework to Solve Problems in the Southern Border Provinces proposed by NSC
Evidence based information has been obtained by both Foundations that SBPAC has been implementing policy to enhance development through nurturing understanding and minimizing causes of conflict. Access to remedies has been made available to people who have been affected by the insurgencies including those affected by the enforcement of special laws. Some have been subjected to human rights abuse while being held in custody invoking the specials laws including torture, enforced disappearance, unlawful detention, and extrajudicial killing. That the persons held in custody have been subsequently released and have not been prosecuted reflects the impact of the enforcement of special laws including the infringement on the right to freedom and security.
In addition, the Foundations have found that insofar SBPAC has initiated the revision of local ordinances, rules and regulations which are inappropriate to the cultural identity of the local Muslim sisters and brothers. By the virtue of such revision, their identity has been recognized on par with provisions in the Constitution and international standards, and that has paved the way for bigger public space to dialogue for peace.
As for plans to ensure security, the Foundations have found that both governmental officials and civilians have still be victims of violence and the loss of life and damage of property has continued unabated. Meanwhile, the preemptive measures and the suppression methods based on invoking law to arrest and hold in custody suspects have led to restriction of people’s rights and freedom as well as infringement on the right to justice process including access to lawyer and relatives and a lack of transparency during the inquiries.
If the implementation of policy by SBPAC and ISOC continues to lack congruency with the restriction of right to freedom and right to justice process as a result of the enforcement of Emergency Decree, the chance to establish peace in the Southern Border Provinces shall be slim. Therefore, we would like to propose a moratorium of Emergency Decree for three months in order to gain weigh better the benefits and the necessity to continue the renewal of the Emergency Decree in the next three months.
For more information, please contact Ms. Preeda Thongchumhum, CrCF, phone 02-6934939 and Mr. Sitthipong Chanthawirote, MAC, phone 089-873 1626[:]