Peace dialogue: Chatchai to head panel in far south, says PM Srettha

Photo: Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin appointed Chatchai Bangchuad, the deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council (NSC), as the head of the government’s peace dialogue panel in the far South, replacing Gen Wanlop Rugsanaoh. The latter’s term concluded after the constitution of the new government.

Despite two former Fourth Army chiefs being among the proposed candidates, the 61 year old prime minister preferred a civilian for the role, aiming to enhance the image of the negotiation team and the soldiers, who also participated in the appointment decision.

This choice was influenced by the fact that the Barisan Revolusi Nasional Melayu-Patani (BRN) and other insurgent groups in the Far South have frequently expressed discomfort in discussions with government peace teams led by soldiers or Thai military members.

Chatchai is not a novice to the peace dialogue panel and security affairs teams, having worked alongside them for several years. His current appointment also leaves open the potential for him to rise to the position of secretary-general of the NSC in the future, as he continues to serve as a civil servant until 2027.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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