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Government takes preventive steps ahead of weekend's rally to ensure security

Anti-government rallies are being planned in Thailand

Given the large number of people attended such rallies, on 9 March 2010, the Thai Cabinet approved the use of the Internal Security Act B.E. 2551 (2008) in the areas of Bangkok and certain districts of seven nearby provinces from 11 to 23 March 2010. These are:

Areas of Bangkok
Nonthaburi Province
Pathumthani Province
Samut Sakhon Province
Samut Prakan Province
Nakhon Pathom Province
Chachoengsao Province
Ayutthaya Province

The decision to invoke the ISA is deemed necessary as a precautionary step to ensure law and order. The ISA will enable security agencies; police, military and civilian to more effectively integrate their effort and take measures provided for under the Act and applicable laws to prevent and mitigate, as much as possible, undue disruption or impact on the safety of the general public.

Some preventive measures have already been put in place, including setting up of checkpoints and patrols in the inner area of Bangkok. In this connection, additional checkpoints will be set up in Bangkok and other nearby provinces. There would be temporary closure of a few thoroughfares around important government buildings. Rapid deployment units have also been set up to ensure timely responses in case any incident occurs. Clear instructions have been given to all security agencies that officers exercise the utmost restraint, and should the situation escalate, that they take a graduated response from light to heavy measures in accordance with internationally accepted practices, with due respect to human rights principles.

For tourists visiting the Kingdom, it should be stressed that foreigners have not been targeted in the on-going political conflict. However, foreigners are advised to be vigilant, particularly in the areas where crowds may gather. The Royal Thai Government will continue to step up measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all foreigners in Thailand.

On 9 March 2010, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya also affirmed to the diplomatic corps that the Royal Thai Government would do its utmost to provide security for the public, including the diplomatic community.