Deep South rangers barred from affairs with Muslim women

The Thai authorities have prohibited rangers and soldiers in the restive Deep South from having affairs with Muslim women.

Col Yuttanam Petchmuang, Deputy Spokesperson of the 4th Region Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), on Saturday, 2 July 2016, apologized to a Muslim community in the Deep Southern province of Yala about a meeting between two rangers and two Muslim girls in Than To District of Yala, reported BBC Thai.

The meeting of the four took place last Friday night, 1 July. The two rangers reportedly sneaked out of a military camp to meet with the 20- and 21-year-old Muslim women. The meeting was later reported to the authorities by a local witness.    

On Saturday, ISOC personnel met with Muslim religious leaders and villagers in the district to discuss the meeting of the four and apologized to the local people for the behaviour of the two rangers.

After offering an apology to the Muslim communities, Col Yuttanam said that ISOC will prohibit all ISOC personnel from having affairs with Muslim women in the region in order to prevent conflicts with local people.

He added that although it is a private matter, it could cause conflict in the region and that ISOC staff will be investigated and punished for breaking the prohibition.

In the restive Deep South, where the majority of the population is Muslim, issues related to family affairs, such as marriage and inheritance are settled by provincial Islamic committees through their interpretations of the Sharia law.

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