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Pattaya Daily News

24 November 2009 :: 21:11:20 pm 1393

Security Law Invoked to Maintain Order at Rally

BANGKOK, Nov 24 (TNA) Thailand‘s Cabinet on Tuesday resolved to invoke the country’s Internal Security Act (ISA) from this Saturday through mid-December to maintain law and order during the upcoming major protest of the anti-government United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).
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The so-called Red Shirt protesters earlier announced that they would hold a mass rally to oust the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration beginning November 28 to December 2, and will march to several important spots in the capital on November 30.

Prime Minister Abhisit said after the weekly cabinet meeting that there was a report over the protesters’ plan to incite violence during their gathering and that the Red Shirt supporters also planned to march to many important areas across Bangkok.

He said the ISA enforcement across Bangkok from November 28 to December 14 would help maintain order and prevent any possible untoward incident. It will also facilitate rehearsals for the annual Trooping of the Colours of the Royal Guard and the preparations of activities to mark the birthday of His Majesty the King during that period. All activities will be held at the Red Shirt’s rally sites.

The premier gave assurances to the public that the imposition of the ISA will not affect the country’s tourism industry.

“Each time unrest occurs, it causes huge damage, much greater than the budget that we spend to maintain the law and order,” said Mr Abhisit. “Actually the government does not want to waste money on that issue, but it is necessary to use when forced to by the situation.”

Deputy government spokesman Supachai Chaisamut also said as the protesters will move to many other areas, apart from their main rally site, the ISA will allow security personnel to maintain order in all areas of Bangkok, unlike the April incident which authorities could do nothing when protesters blocked the Victory Monument.

In related developments, Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said he is also proposing the cabinet to consider the ISA enforcement from November 27-29 in some sub-districts of Chiang Mai where the premier will visit this Sunday for his safety.

He said the only four or five sub-districts will be under security law as they are passage of the premier’s motorcade and the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s meeting venue, as the Red Shirt activists still incite their supporters to cause chaos via community radios.

Mr Suthep said the concerned agencies will be careful when imposing the ISA so as not to affect people’s daily life and the city’s tourism industry.

The cabinet however is still considering and evaluating the situation whether to enforce the ISA in Chiang Mai, a major stronghold and the hometown of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The clarification will be made by the end of this week.

Watchara Kanhikar, another deputy government spokesman, said many cabinet members including deputy prime minister Suthep and interior minister Chavarat Charnvirakul disagreed with the premier’s planned visit to Chiang Mai.

Both of them expressed concern that it is likely to have violent incident and could be linked with the Red Shirt’s main rally in the capital which will be held in the same period.

The premier however said his schedule remains unchanged but that is subject to the national security agencies’ advice. (TNA)

Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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