A PPT reader who wanted to know about the seemingly sudden appearance of CAPO in the media – the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order. His research produced some results that we felt that our readers would find the results useful background information.
CAPO is better known to Thai readers as ศูนย์ อำนวยการรักษาความสงบเรียบร้อย (ศอ.รส.), which is the television backdrop for many of the media events associated with the current set of red shirt rallies. It is located in 11th Infantry Regiment in Bang Khen, which has seen two red shirt rallies at its gates, the second of which saw the compromise of two televised talks by the teams from the government and the red shirts.
CAPO apparently comes into being when the Internal Security Act is invoked. The first mention of CAPO found was when it was formed on 17 September 2009 by the board of the Internal Security Operations Command following the Cabinet’s approval of the ISA from 18-22 September 2009 in Dusit District of Bangkok. Here’s what the unofficial translations says:
The structure of CAPO is divided into two main parts: the Control and Administrative Section and the Peace and Order Maintenance Security Unit.
The Control and Administrative Section is made up of commanding officers from agencies under the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC). The duty of this unit is to supervise and manage the operations of the Peace and Order Maintenance Security Unit to ensure that they are in line with the policies of cautiousness, appropriateness, transparency and accountability in accordance with the law and democratic principles. In addition, there is a legal team to provide legal advice in every aspect.
The Peace and Order Maintenance Security Unit is an integration of civilian, police and military forces. Officers operating outside government offices will carry only shields, batons and crowd-control equipment, with no other weapons.
CAPO’s website includes a whole bunch of information on orders, news briefings and interviews (in Thai and English) associated with the organization that PPT had never seen previously.
CAPO is headed by Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban and one report, the Bangkok Post states that CAPO is like a “war room.”