Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Govt moves to consolidate its security work

The government has decided to integrate all intelligence operations, headed by National Security Council secretary-general Wichean Potephosree, to focus on individuals and groups considered a threat to national security.Speaking after a Tuesday meeting with security-related agencies, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung said intelligence operations from all agencies have now been integrated for better efficiency.
Pol Gen Wichean has been assigned to head the integration of intelligence operations, said Mr Chalerm, who is in charge of national security.

There were no talks on terrorism during the meeting, he said. He maintained that authorities could control the situation and there was nothing to be worried about.
Pol Gen Wichean said the main agencies involved in the integration of intelligence operations are the NSC, the National Intelligence Agency, the Interior Ministry, the Special Branch Police, and the Foreign Ministry.
Agencies that will support intelligence operations are the Internal Security Operations Command, the Commerce Ministry, the Science and Technology Ministry, the Labour Ministry, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the Justice Ministry, and the Bank of Thailand.
Agencies that will play a supplementary role include the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, the Information and Communication Ministry, the Public Health Ministry, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, the Board of Investment, the Narcotics Suppression Bureau and the Anti-Money Laundering Office.
"My responsibility is to integrate intelligence operations with a focus on individuals and groups of people suspected of being a threat to national security, to supervise counter-intelligence operations, and collate and analyse reports from all agencies concerned," Pol Gen Wichean said.
The NSC will host a meeting of security agencies every Monday, while Mr Chalerm, who is in charge of the overall operations, will chair a separate weekly meeting.
"In an emergency, the deputy prime minister will call a meeting on a daily basis to follow up on developments and report directly to the prime minister," said Pol Gen Wichean.Mr Chalerm yesterday met separately with the Immigration Bureau to present his policy on security and intelligence operations.
He said the bureau was the first agency given the job of screening foreigners entering the country and its work must be in coordination with other security agencies.
The government has a clear policy of not meddling in disputes between other countries.
But the government will not let anyone use Thailand as a base to carry out terrorism attacks, he said.
He refused to comment on the recent arrests of three more Iranians on suspicion of involvement in the bombings on Sukhumvit Soi 71 on Feb 14, saying only that police had sufficient evidence to hold the suspects.
He said he could not disclose details of the case for fear his remarks might bring the country into conflict with another nation.
Israeli ambassador to Thailand Yitzhak Shoham met Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat on Tuesday to discuss the terrorism situation and cooperation in intelligence exchange and anti-terrorism measures, said a source.
The Israeli ambassador arrived at the Defence Ministry under tight security provided by the Arintharat police task force.