National Council for Peace and Order

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Not to be confused with Council for National Security.
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The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO; Thai: คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ; rtgsKhana Raksa Khwam Sa-ngop Haeng Chat; abbreviated คสช) is the junta that has ruled Thailand since their 2014 Thai coup d'état on 22 May 2014.[1] On 20 May 2014, the military had declared martial law nationwide in an attempt to stop the country's escalating political crisis, and to force the democratically elected government out.[2] On 22 May, the military ousted the Yingluck Shinawatra government and formed the NCPO to take control of the country. The junta censored the broadcasting system in Thailand, suspended the constitution, and detained members of the Thai cabinet.[3]

Name[edit]

The original English name assumed by the junta was "National Peace and Order Maintaining Council" or "NPOMC".[4] The name was later changed to "National Council for Peace and Order" or "NCPO" on 24 May 2014.[5]

Membership and authority[edit]

On 22 May 2014, the NCPO announced its composition[6] and stated that its leader would exercise all powers and duties which the laws invest in the prime minister and the cabinet, until a new prime minister was elected or appointed.[7][8]

On 23 May, the NCPO announced that short- and long-term national administrative policies would be determined by its leader. It assigned its members to government ministries and agencies.[9]

On 24 May 2014, the NCPO dissolved the senate and vested legislative power in its leader.[10] It also ordered the judicial branch to operate under its directives.[11] Later that day, it transferred Police General Adul Saengsingkaew, who was the Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police and also its deputy leader, to an inactive post in the office of the prime minister.[10] Adul was replaced by Police General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit.[12]

On 26 May, King Bhumibol Adulyadej endorsed the coup, formally appointing General Prayut Chan-o-cha to "take charge of public administration" as of 24 May.[13][14] The royal endorsement was seen as key to legitimising the coup.[14]

Office Name Military status In charge of
Branch Rank Position
Leader Prayut Chan-o-cha Royal Thai Army General Commander-in-Chief
Deputy Leader Thanasak Patimaprakorn Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters General Chief of the Armed Forces
Deputy Leader Narong Pipathanasai Royal Thai Navy Admiral Commander-in-Chief
Deputy Leader Prajin Jantong Royal Thai Air Force Air Chief Marshal Commander-in-Chief
Deputy Leader Adul Sangsingkeo Royal Thai Police

Office of Prime Minister

Police General Former Commissioner-General

Minister of the Office of Prime Minister

  • Bureau of the Royal Household
  • Council of State
  • Cabinet Secretariat
  • Civil Service Commission
  • Consumer Protection Commission
  • House of Representatives Secretariat
  • National Buddhism Office
  • National Economic and Social Development Commission
  • National Education Standards and Quality Assessment Office
  • National Research Council
  • Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary
  • Office of the Prime Minister
  • Office of the Prime Minister's Permanent Secretariat
  • Prime Minister Secretariat
  • Public Relations Department
  • Public Sector Development Commission
  • Senate Secretariat
  • Royal Development Projects Board
  • Royal Institute
  • Thailand Research Fund
Secretary-General Teerachai Nakwanich Royal Thai Army General Deputy Commander-in-Chief
Deputy Secretary-General Chatudom Titthasiri Royal Thai Army General Deputy Commander-in-Chief
Spokesman Winthai Suvaree Royal Thai Army Colonel Vice Spokesman of the Army

Board of consultants[edit]

On 26 May 2014, the NCPO announced the formation of its Board of Consultants:

Office Name Note
Chairman Prawit Wongsuwan Former Minister of Defence, (Abhisit Vejjajiva's cabinet)
Vice Chairman Anupong Paochinda Former commander-in-chief of the army
Vice Chairman Pridiyathorn Devakula Former Governor of the Bank of Thailand
Consultant Somkid Jatusripitak Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, (Thaksin Shinawatra's cabinet)
Consultant Narongchai Akrasanee Member of Thai Monetary Policy Committee and Former Minister of Trade, (Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's cabinet)
Consultant Wissanu Krea-ngam Former Deputy Prime Minister, (Thaksin Shinawatra's cabinet)
Consultant Yongyuth Yuthavong Former Minister of Science and Technology, (Surayud Chulanont's cabinet)
Consultant Itthaporn Subhawong Former commander-in-chief of the air force
Consultant Noppadol Intapanya Former secretary to Minister of Defence, (Prawit Wongsuwan)
Consultant and Secretary Dowpong Rattanasuwan Former vice commander-in-chief of the army

Political motivations and objectives[edit]

The stated objective of the coup and NCPO was to restore order to Thailand and to enact political reforms.[15]

Since taking over, the NCPO has made full use of martial law to prosecute opponents, ban political activity, and censor the media. More than 1,000 people, including academics, political bloggers, activists and politicians, have been detained or sent for "attitude adjustment" at military installations. There are allegations of torture. Prosecutions under the country's strict lèse majesté laws, which protect the monarchy from insult, have risen sharply.[16] In its annual report in January 2015, Human Rights Watch said military rule had sent human rights in Thailand into "a freefall".[17]

Decisions and future[edit]

The NCPO repealed the 2007 Constitution, save the second chapter which deals with the King. In addition, it formally ordered the dissolution of the caretaker government, while the senate is dissolved on order of the NCPO. Other state agencies, including the courts and the independent organs, remain operative.[18]

The NCPO imposed a curfew throughout the country, ordering the people to stay indoors from 22:00 to 05:00.[19] It laid down a ban on political gatherings and directed all protesters to disperse.[6] It also ordered all educational institutes, both public and private, to close from 23 to 25 May 2014.[20]

Compensation[edit]

On 2 August 2014, a law was issued to determine monthly salaries and other monetary benefits for NCPO staff. General Prayut was granted 125,590 baht per month. Each of the other NCPO members was granted salaries of 119,920 baht per month. These salaries are in addition to the benefits they are already entitled to receive by virtue of their posts in the armed forces.[21]

Domestic and international reactions to the coup[edit]

Immediately after the coup was announced, People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters expressed their support for the takeover.[22] Phra Buddha Issara, a Buddhist monk who is a PDRC co-leader, went on stage and proclaimed the victory of the anti-Yingluck Shinawatra government protesters before requesting that protesters return to their homes.[23] Some pro-Shinawatra government protesters dispersed at the behest of the military, while others refused to leave.[22] The NCPO provided 70 military vehicles to send the protesters from both sides home.[24]

  •  Canada - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird condemned the coup and said, "This decision violates Thailand's democratic principles and stands in stark contrast to the Army's earlier assurances that its role would be limited to securing public order. We hope and expect the Thai military will return Thailand to civilian rule as soon as possible, respect democratic processes and the rule of law, ensure freedom of expression and assembly, and guarantee due process for those who have been detained."[25]
  •  EU – The European External Action Service called for the military to accept and respect the constitutional authority of civilian power and stressed "the importance of holding credible and inclusive elections as soon as feasible".[26]
  •  France – President François Hollande condemned the coup and called for "an immediate return to the constitutional order and for a vote to be organised".[27]
  •  UNBan Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations issued a statement through his spokesman, expressing serious concern over the coup, calling for "a prompt return to constitutional, civilian, democratic rule" and movement towards cooperation between the parties.[28]
  •  USA – Secretary of State John Kerry strongly condemned the coup and said that "this act will have negative implications for the U.S.–Thai relationship, especially for our relationship with the Thai military".[29]
  •  UK — Britain expressed concern over the coup, however it did not go as far as to condemn it. The British Foreign Office urged British travelers to follow travel advice, and stated that, "We are concerned at the announcement of a military coup in Thailand and are following developments closely. We urge all sides to put aside their differences, and adhere to the values of democracy and the rule of law. This is clearly in the interests of the people of Thailand." They also added, "ongoing political instability and the continued violence undermine Thailand's democratic framework."[30]

The NCPO in action[edit]

The government seized thousands of "divisive" blue medical boxes and towels intended for distribution to the elderly on 12 April 2016. The boxes were donated by the Democrat Party. The blue boxes carried the photo of Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the party. The military had only the week before seized almost 9,000 red Songkran water bowls from the Democrats' rival, the Pheu Thai Party. "The NCPO adheres to principles, righteousness and fairness under the same law. People may wonder why things cannot be handed out during this time of happiness, please understand the officials," said Colonel Piyapong Klinpan, NCPO spokesman. The Democrats had assembled more than 1,200 sets of medicine boxes and towels for the elderly in Phran Kratai District of Kamphaeng Phet Province, a party stronghold. The giveaways were aimed at marking Elderly Day on 13 April.[31][32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thai military declares coup, detains party leaders". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  2. ^ "Capo dissolved, riot police ordered to withdraw". Bangkok Post. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Thai military takes over country in coup—again". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  4. ^ "สำนักข่่าวแห่งชาติ: National Peace and Order Maintaining Council Announcement 1/2014". Thainews.prd.go.th. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Junta summons TV operators, TV network operators". The Nation. 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  6. ^ a b คสช. ตั้งบิ๊กตู่หัวหน้าคณะ ให้ รธน. สิ้นสุดชั่วคราว ครม. หมดอายุ วุฒิฯ-องค์กรอิสระยังอยู่ [Big Tu leads NOPCM, charter suspended, cabinet dissolved, senate and independent organs remain in existence]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  7. ^ คสช. สั่งผู้ประกอบการสื่อสังคมออนไลน์ระงับส่งข้อความยั่วยุ [NCPO orders all online media service providers to suspend provocative info]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  8. ^ "Coup leader to act as PM pending new premier appointment". The Nation. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  9. ^ 'คสช.' ประกาศ ฉ. 22 จัดส่วนงาน-กำหนดหน้าที่ความรับผิดชอบ [NCPO announcement 22: arrangement of administrative agencies and determination of duties and responsibilities]. Thairath (in Thai). 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  10. ^ a b "Senate dissolved, police chief sacked". Bangkok Post. 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  11. ^ รวมประกาศ-คำสั่งคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ [A collection of NCPO announcements and orders]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  12. ^ คสช. ย้ายอดุลย์-ธาริต-นิพัทธ์ เข้ากรุสำนักนายกฯ - ยุบวุฒิสภา [NCPO moved Adul, Tarit, Nipat to inactive posts in OPM, dissolved Senate]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-24. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  13. ^ ประกาศแต่งตั้งหัวหน้าคณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ [Proclamation on Appointment of Leader of the National Council for Peace and Order] (PDF). Government Gazette (in Thai). Bangkok: Cabinet Secretariat (Volume 131, Special Part 82 D): 1. 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  14. ^ a b "Thai coup: Leader Gen Prayuth receives royal endorsement". BBC. 2014-05-26. Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  15. ^ Harlan, Chico (May 23, 2014). "One day after coup, Thai junta moves to tighten its grip over the country". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Haworth, Abigail (2015-03-22). "Bangkok's Big Brother is watching you". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 Mar 2015. 
  17. ^ "Thailand: Human Rights in Free Fall". Human Rights Watch. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 22 Mar 2015. 
  18. ^ คสช. ประกาศสิ้นสุด รธน. คงอำนาจ สว. [NCPO suspends charter, maintains senate]. Post Today (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  19. ^ คสช. ประกาศกฎอัยการศึกทั่วราชอาณาจักร-เคอร์ฟิวห้ามออกนอกบ้าน 4 ทุ่มถึงตี 5 [NCPO imposed martial law and curfew nationwide, people must be indoors from 22:00 to 05:00 hrs]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  20. ^ "Schools out Friday to Sunday". Bangkok Post. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  21. ^ เปิดบัญชีอัตราเงินตอบแทน "หัวหน้า คสช. - สนช. - สปช." [Let's see a list of remunerations of NCPO leader, NLA and NRC]. Isra News (in Thai). 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  22. ^ a b กปปส. เฮเสียงนกหวีดลั่น-แกนนำอุบเงียบรอ "สุเทพ"-ทหารคุมตัว "เหวง" ให้ม็อบ นปช. กลับบ้าน [PDRC applauds the coup - their leaders remain quiet, waiting for Suthep's orders - Weng detained by military - Red Shirts return home]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  23. ^ "All protesters dispersed by soldiers; PDRC jubilant". The Nation. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  24. ^ คสช. จัดรถส่งผู้ชุมนุมทุกกลุ่มกลับภูมิลำเนา [NCPO provides cars to send all protesters home]. Manager (in Thai). 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  25. ^ "Thailand's army coup draws fire from world community". CBC News. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  26. ^ "EEAS on Thai coup" (PDF). EEAS. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  27. ^ "Hollande condemns Thai coup, calls for elections". The Nation. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  28. ^ "Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Thailand". New York: Office of the United Nations Secretary-General. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  29. ^ "US Department of State on Thai coup". US Department of State. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-22. 
  30. ^ "Britain 'concerned' by Thailand coup". Expatica.co.uk. 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  31. ^ Nanuam, Wassana; Jikkham, Patsara (2016-04-12). "NCPO seizes Democrats' Elderly Day giveaways". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  32. ^ Khan, Mish (2016-04-01). "Red buckets and red alerts". New Mandala. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 

External links[edit]