July 21, 2023
BANGKOK – The Move Forward Party on Thursday submitted a draft law seeking the abolition of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc), which it blames for conflicts in the Muslim-majority deep South.
Romadon Panjor, a Move Forward party-list MP, said in his Facebook post that the bill, proposed by about 30 MPs of the party, was submitted to House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha for deliberation by the House of Representatives.
“The count started today for the Internal Security Operations Command to be dissolved after a bill to rescind the Isoc Act was handed to the House speaker,” Romadon said in his Facebook post.
“This is one of the five laws that seek to reform the military,” he said, adding that the goal was to allow civilians to take control of the Thai armed forces.
The Muslim politician said Move Forward MPs had also submitted a motion seeking the establishment of a House committee on peace-building in the southern border region.
He said that these were part of his party’s campaign promise to reduce the military’s role while heightening civilians’ involvement in tackling violence in the troubled region.
The Muslim-majority deep South has been troubled by insurgency for almost two decades now. The conflict erupted again on January 4, 2004, when armed insurgents raided a military camp in Narathiwat province and seized 413 weapons.
Since that day, 10,376 security-related attacks in the region have left 4,160 people dead and 11,169 others injured. The Thai military has been given special powers in the region, which has been under martial law since 2004.
Romadon on Thursday described the conflict in the deep South as a problem involving state power. For him, efforts to tackle the issue must go beyond security agencies.
“We need a constructive and more open solution in order to avoid leaving a time bomb for future generations,” the politician said in his Facebook post.