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Chaturon Chaisang’s Victory: House Passes Bill to Dismantle NCPO Orders in Southern Thailand

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Last month, MPs gathered for a rigorous three-day debate over the budget proposal, engaging in intense discussions and negotiations. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives witnessed a significant legislative victory as a bill aimed at dismantling coup-makers’ restrictive orders on public participation in the administration of the restive Southern provinces smoothly sailed through. The notorious “14th/2016 NCPO” orders, issued by the now-dissolved National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in April 2016, had effectively rendered parts of the Southern Border Administration Act obsolete.

The NCPO’s draconian directives have long disrupted the crucial activities of the advisory council on Southern Border Administration and Development. This council, composed of representatives from the troubled far South, was designed to give a voice to the residents and include them in the decision-making processes affecting their lives.

The controversial orders had also granted the Internal Security Operation Command undue influence over the Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) – an otherwise civilian-run agency that should ideally operate without military interference.

Fortunately, a turnaround began earlier this year when the bill reviving the advisory council passed its first reading in the House. Led by Chaturon Chaisang, a Pheu Thai list-MP, a dedicated House committee was formed to meticulously scrutinize the bill. This committee enacted several key modifications, one of which stipulated that the advisory council must be fully operational within 120 days of the bill’s implementation.

After extensive debate and deliberation, the House voted unanimously – with a remarkable tally of 406 to 0 – to pass the bill. The next step is for it to be submitted to the Senate for further review and approval.

In his address to the House, Mr. Chaturon emphasized the advisory council’s vital role in resolving the longstanding conflict. He underscored the importance of fostering broader public involvement in the governance process, a move that looks set to restore power to the people and promote peace and stability in the region.


  1. Mariam Singh July 10, 2024

    I am ecstatic that the House has finally decided to dismantle the NCPO orders. It’s about time people in the Southern provinces get the voice they deserve.

    • RebelYell90 July 10, 2024

      Are you kidding me? Dismantling these orders opens the door to chaos. The military has kept that area in check for years!

      • Cholthicha T. July 10, 2024

        RebelYell90, you can’t seriously believe that military control is the answer to everything. People need a democratic process.

      • Mariam Singh July 10, 2024

        Exactly, Cholthicha. Military interventions have done more harm than good in the region. We need community-led governance.

      • RebelYell90 July 10, 2024

        Well, let’s see how ‘community-led governance’ handles terrorism and separatism. Good luck with that!

  2. Andy L. July 10, 2024

    This is an incredible victory! All credit to Chaturon Chaisang for pushing this through.

    • Benjiro W. July 10, 2024

      Yes, Chaturon did a commendable job. Hopefully, the Senate will have the sense to approve it.

    • Viper17 July 10, 2024

      Political posturing! Nothing will change, mark my words.

    • Andy L. July 10, 2024

      Viper17, change doesn’t happen overnight, but this is a step in the right direction.

  3. Kadek July 10, 2024

    Will this really bring peace to Southern Thailand, or is it just another political maneuver?

    • Tara B. July 10, 2024

      It depends on how effectively the new advisory council can operate. It’s a complex issue.

    • EkaPongX July 10, 2024

      I agree with Tara. It’s not a silver bullet, but it opens up avenues for dialogue.

  4. Salman Rahman July 10, 2024

    Why the unanimous vote, though? Are there no dissenting opinions on such a controversial issue?

    • Tina J. July 10, 2024

      Perhaps the MPs are finally aligning for the greater good. It’s unusual but not impossible.

    • Salman Rahman July 10, 2024

      Let’s hope it’s genuine and not just political theater.

  5. Lily Ma July 10, 2024

    This will empower the residents but I worry about how smoothly the transition will go.

    • Zara M. July 10, 2024

      Absolutely, the devil is in the details. Still, it’s a move worth making.

  6. Jakob E. July 10, 2024

    Does anyone think the NCPO orders were justified in the first place? The law shouldn’t be that restrictive.

    • Monisha P. July 10, 2024

      It was initially meant to enforce order, but prolonged restrictions without civilian oversight are problematic.

  7. Wiwan N. July 10, 2024

    What an important bill! This might actually pave the way for real peace in the South.

    • Suwin P. July 10, 2024

      We can hope so. Decades of conflict need more than just one bill to resolve.

  8. Habib July 10, 2024

    Military control has had its chance; it’s time the people had theirs.

  9. Jamie Collins July 10, 2024

    I wonder how the SBPAC will adapt to reduced military influence.

    • Peerapat July 10, 2024

      They’ll need a robust framework to ensure civilian oversight is effective and corruption is minimized.

  10. Teerapat K. July 10, 2024

    This is a landmark decision. Southern Thailand deserves peace and inclusive governance.

    • Rini July 10, 2024

      Teerapat K., I hope this leads to inclusive governance rather than more red tape.

  11. Sameer J. July 10, 2024

    Finally, some legislative sense in Thailand!

  12. Nalinee July 10, 2024

    Pheu Thai is really showing its mettle with this bill. Looking forward to the Senate’s approval.

  13. Aran S. July 10, 2024

    The military won’t take this lying down. Expect plenty of challenges ahead.

  14. Nina Zhao July 10, 2024

    What will be the next step if the Senate doesn’t pass the bill?

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