Cabinet will consider today implementing the Internal Security Law in Bangkok between October 15-25 following reports red-shirted protesters were planning a rally in the capital, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday.
The law is already in force in Hua Hin and Cha-Am, site for the 15th Asean summit until October 27, to prevent red-shirt protests. Hua Hin and Cha-Am are 150 kilometres south of Bangkok. Implementation of the law in the capital would coincide with the Asean summit, Abhisit said.
“We try to minimise the coverage area in Bangkok, but it will be for the period of Asean summit meeting,” the Prime Minister said. Meanwhile, the red shirts plan to call a big rally again in Bangkok on Saturday. The idea to implement the internal security law in the capital was raised after a bomb was found near the office of the anti-graft body, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, over the weekend.
Abhisit said he had instructed caution among officials over bomb threats, notably agencies which are being targeted. Panthep Klanarongran, chairman of NACC, said his agency would step up security measures such as installation of more close circuit TV in the commission’s compound.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsabhan said he had confidence in Defence Minister Pravit Wongsuwan’s ability to handle the situation during the Asean summit, and he had insisted on the internal security law being enforced in the capital. Navy chief, Admiral Khamthorn Phumhiran, said the Navy was ready to operate in Cha Am/Hua Hin to protect the Asean summit,with boats and helicopters from the Navy covering the area.
There would be no recurrence of the Pattaya incident in which red-shirted protesters disrupted the summit meeting, he said. Military spokesman Maj. General Wissanu Sriyaphan, said security arrangements would be the same as in Phuket in July when Asean ministers met and the internal security law was implemented.