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Pattaya Daily News

17 September 2010 :: 12:09:13 pm 39034

Prison Security Tightened ahead of Red Shirt Gatherings

Thailand’s Corrections Department has ordered the immediate tightening of security at 100 of the nation’s major prisons on Thursday in readiness for impending Red Shirt gatherings at the facilities on Friday morning.
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Thailand, the 16th of September 2010: Corrections Department Director General Chartchai Suthiklom announced the increased security measures Thursday ahead of planned United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protests on Friday morning.

The UDD, Red Shirts, plan to gather at prisons nationwide on Friday at approximately 10:00am, laying red roses to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2006 coup d’etat that ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra and to call for the release of imprisoned Red Shirt comrades. At present, some 252 Red Shirt members are detained in 17 prisons across the country.

The flower laying ceremonies are just one part of activities planned by the Red Shirts during September 17-19 as part of anniversary celebrations. “The commanders (of prisons) are instructed to prepare security measures inside the prison walls. They are also directed to coordinate with police to maintain law and order outside the prison area,” Chartchai stated.

Following Friday’s events, Saturday will see a motorcade of some 50 vehicles travel from Bangkok’s Imperial World Department Store to the northern Thai province of Chiang Mai, where numerous ceremonies and events will take place to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2006 coup.

Ahead of several other Bangkok based ceremonies over the weekend, including at the Ratchaprasong Intersection, Colonel Songpon Watthanachai (Bangkok Metropolitan Police Deputy Commander and spokesman) revealed that anti-riot police and specialist investigators will be deployed at the rally sites to maintain order, while rapid response units and army reinforcements will be on hand, should there be a requirement.

Although Red Shirt gatherings over the three-day anniversary celebrations are not expected to erupt into violence, Mr. Chartchai declared it a necessary precaution to prepare areas affected by the gatherings for any possible outcome, including violence.

Reporter : John Weston   Category : Thailand News

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