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Cablegate: Thaksin and Nrc Head Anand to Discuss On Tv

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 004864

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PTER TH
SUBJECT: THAKSIN AND NRC HEAD ANAND TO DISCUSS ON TV
SOUTHERN VIOLENCE AND NEXT STEPS BY THE RTG

REF: (A) BANGKOK 4697 (B) BANGKOK 4653

1. (U) Summary: On July 28 Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra and National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) head
and former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun will discuss on
national television the ongoing violence in Thailand's south,
the RTG's Emergency Decree and the NRC's proposals to end the
troubles. On July 26, the Cabinet accepted a list of 14
short-term measures submitted by the NRC to address the
southern violence . Thaksin has indicated that some of the
suggestions will be more difficult to implement than others.
The degree to which Thaksin and Anand can meld their views
will have a significant bearing on how the RTG proceeds in
addressing the very complicated situation in the deep south.
End Summary.

JOINT TELEVISION DISCUSSION FOCUSES NATION ON SOUTH

2. (U) On July 28 Prime Minister Thaksin and National
Reconciliation Commission (NRC) head and former Prime
Minister Anand Panyarachun will discuss on national
television the violence in Thailand's south, the RTG's
Emergency Decree and the NRC's proposals to end the troubles.
The broadcast will feature two strong political
personalities who not infrequently have been at odds over the
best approach to the southern problem. As such, it is being
widely anticipated. Most interlocutors with whom we have
spoken see the public discussion of the ongoing turmoil in
the southern provinces as a welcome new factor to address the
southern situation. Opposition Democrat Party Leader Abhisit
Vejjajiva, for example, quickly voiced his support for
Thaksin and Anand's joint appearance before the public.

NRC PROPOSALS GIVEN TO GOVERNMENT

3. (U) On July 26, the Cabinet accepted a list of 14
short-term measures designed to address the southern violence
submitted by the NRC. These points include:

-- Reapply King Rama VI's policy for the Pattani region,
dated July 6, 1923, which "respects cultural differences."

-- Set up a national committee for judiciary procedure in
order to examine the investigations that have taken place
since the current spate of violence in the three southernmost
border provinces (Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala) began in
January 4, 2004; monitor the development of the prosecutions.

-- Allow persons arrested or detained under Section 11 (1) of
the Public Administration on Emergency Situation Decree
access to their lawyers within 48 hours.

-- Employ forensic science procedures in criminal
investigations in the affected areas in order to increase the
efficiency of the state's prosecution process with
transparency and justice.

-- Appoint local community, Islamic and Buddhist leaders to a
government committee on reducing the violence.

-- All firearms should be regarded as illegal in the three
southernmost borders provinces, except for possession by
security forces.

-- Install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in public places
throughout the three affected southern provinces in order to
obtain evidence of crimes by the instigators.

-- Move entertainment establishments away from community
areas, religious institutions, schools and youth recreation
centers.

-- Allow local communities to give first-had accounts of
violent incidents.

-- Set up village defense volunteer units as grassroots
operation units. These units should consist of Interior
Ministry officials, soldiers, police, and territory defense
volunteers.

-- Set up community peace committees, consisting of community
leaders, such as Imams, Islamic religious teachers, village
chiefs, and chairpersons of Tambon (local administrative
unit) Administration Organizations (TAO), as well as army and
police officials.

-- Support students demonstrating for peace.

-- Install security alarms and provide protection for all
schools.

-- Allow teachers in the affected areas to assist in setting
up these school safety systems.

EMERGENCY DECREE TO MESH WITH NRC'S PROPOSALS?

4. (SBU) Though his Cabinet has accepted the NRC proposals,
Thaksin warned that some of the suggestions will be difficult
to implement right away. He specifically noted that
"disarming the public" in the affected areas was a problem
and appeared to indicate that he would not impose this
measure immediately. Thaksin told reporters on July 27 that
reconciliation alone cannot halt the unrest and that tough
laws (read the Emergency Decree) must remain as a "necessary
evil."

HOPE FOR CLEAR DIRECTION

5. (SBU) In Thaksin and Anand, the Thai public will be able
to see two powerful poles of thought discuss their approaches
to deal with the ongoing crisis in Thailand's deep southern
provinces. Thaksin has made clear his belief that bringing
security to the affected areas is his foremost priority,
whereas Anand has consistently maintained that an
overemphasis on security without addressing other factors
risks exacerbating the situation. Both are strong political
personalities who are not likely to hold back in putting
their views across. The degree to which Thaksin and Anand
can meld their views will have a definite impact on the
future direction of RTG policy in dealing with its troubled
southern provinces.
BOYCE

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