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Peace Policy Shocker: Thailand’s New Government Challenges Martial Law in Southern Region – Safety Takes Center Stage!

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A working group on peace policies convened at the Prachachat Party HQ to examine methods for addressing security issues in the southern region of Thailand. The eight-party coalition’s team is focused on fostering peace in the deep South and has recently called for a review of the ongoing enforcement of martial law and the emergency decree in the area.

The group held its second meeting at the Prachachat Party headquarters, functioning as one of the six teams established by the Move Forward Party (MFP) and its coalition allies to tackle major challenges faced by the country during the transition to a new government.

Representative of the MFP, Romadon Panjor, stated that the meeting primarily discussed development initiatives and policies for the southern border provinces, including Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, and four districts in Songkhla. These policies are expected to be implemented to foster peace and unity within the first 100 days of Pita Limjaroenrat’s government.

Furthermore, the group examined security measures and special laws currently enforced in the South, with Panjor saying, “We agreed that it is time to return safety to people. We will ask the new government to see whether the enforcement of martial law and the emergency decree is still necessary in the region.”

Other topics discussed during the meeting were a review of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) and the Internal Security Act of 2008. Proposals on these issues will be submitted to a coordinating committee of the eight-party coalition for consideration. Additionally, the working group expressed the importance of maintaining dialogue with separatists in the southern région.

Highlighting the need for change, Panjor emphasized the goal of establishing a new normal without special protocols and ensuring freedom of political expression. “The benefit from the change is [safety] for the people,” he said.

In recent news, a “National Student Movement” or “Pelajar Bangsa” in Malay language, was introduced at the Pattani campus of Prince of Songkla University. A group of students called for a public referendum to establish an independent “Patani state” separate from Thailand. However, the 4th Army Region insisted that such action is unlawful and violates the constitution which states “Thailand as an indivisible kingdom.” It was reported that security forces will keep a close watch on the students involved.

Regarding these developments, Panjor said the new government will continue to adhere to the constitution, maintaining the unity of the kingdom and seeking peaceful ways to improve safety and security in the southern provinces.

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