The government has invoked the Internal Security Act (ISA) and deployed 12,000 riot police to handle the estimated 250 protesters at Government House, prompting criticism of an over-reaction.
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Part of the more than 10,000 riot police who have been deployed in and around Government House in response to an anti-government rally Photos by Chanat Katanyu
Govt sends 12,000 cops to tackle rally
Critics slam invocation of ISA as overreaction
The government has invoked the Internal Security Act (ISA) and deployed 12,000 riot police to handle the estimated 250 protesters at Government House, prompting criticism of an overreaction
The decision to invoke the ISA was made at a special cabinet meeting yesterday. The ISA will cover Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pomprap Sattruphai districts in Bangkok. It came into effect yesterday and will last until Oct 18 to deal with the anti-government rally led by the People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot).
About 250 anti-government demonstrators have gathered on Phitsanulok Road opposite Government House since Monday after moving from Lumpini Park.
The People's Democratic Force to Overthrow Thaksinism (Pefot) rallies in front of Government House.
A security source said authorities would negotiate with the protesters again today, asking them to disperse If that failed, harsher measures including using riot police to break up the rally might be used.
Chaiyant Chaiyaporn, a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University, yesterday said the ISA will lose its sanctity and no longer hold a special status after being invoked against only a few hundred protesters
"The government is overreacting by imposing the ISA. Why not impose other ordinary laws? When special laws are invoked too often, they are no longer special," Mr Chaiyant said, adding that such a small number of protesters did not warrant the imposition of the ISA and such a huge police presence.
Mr Chaiyant said the government may fear more protesters will turn up on Saturday and Sunday.
Three of the demonstrators police are confronting
The government may also be worried that the upcoming commemoration of the Oct 14, 1973 student-led uprising could spark more demonstrations against the government.
Royal Thai Police spokesman Piya Uthayo said 4,500 riot police will be deployed in and around Government House, with another 7,500 officers to be moved in as reinforcements The 12,000 police come from across the country.
Pol Maj Gen Piya said security agencies believe some anti-government elements want to provoke unrest to disrupt the government's administration of the country's affairs
He said police had also arrested people who had broken the law at the protest site Those apprehended had been carrying weapons such as guns and knives, Pol Maj Gen Piya said.
Security reports also indicated that protesters are planning to make the rally a protracted one and seize government office buildings.
Phitsanulok provincial police chief Chadin Prompaiboon yesterday said a total of 150 riot police from Phitsanulok will be sent to secure Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan to prevent any move to seize the airport.
The ISA's imposition has also prompted Pefot to seek court action against the government.
The group said the invoking the ISA was illegal as it has blocked their constitutional right to assembly
Pefot is led by retired top brass Adm Chai Suwannaphap and Gen Preecha Iamsuphan, as well as Thaikorn Polsuwan.
Mr Thaikorn said the group will petition the Administrative and the Civil courts against the government for imposing the ISA.
Adm Chai said the group has staged a peaceful rally without any weapons The group's leaders are ready to fight in court if they are arrested under the ISA.
Learn from listening
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administration: the process or act of organising the way that something is done - การบริหาร
Administrative Court: the court which deals with disputes between the private sector and government agencies - ศาลปกครอง
admiral: an officer of very high rank in the navy - พลเรือเอก
affairs: political, social, and economic events that are happening now - กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ, การเมือง
apprehended: arrested; caught by the police - ถูกจับ, โดนจับกุม
arrest: (of the police) to take someone to a police station because they are believed to have committed a crime - จับกุม
assembly: bringing together and forming a group - การนำมาร่วมกัน
authority: a person who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
block: to stop something from being done or from succeeding - ปิด, กีดขวาง
cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
Civil Court: a court that deals with non-criminal matters, especially complaints made by people against other people or organisations - ศาลแพ่ง
come into effect: to begin to be used - เริ่มใช้
commemoration: something intended to honour and remember an important person or event - การระลึกถึง
confront: to face, meet or deal with a difficult person, group or situation - เผชิญหน้า
constitutional right: something that you are legally allowed to do or have under the constitution - สิทธิตามรัฐธรรมนูญ
cop: (informal) a police officer - ตำรวจ (คำสแลง)
critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
demonstrators: people who march with other people in public to show that they support or oppose something - ผู้ชุมนุมประท้วง
deploy: (of police or soldiers) to put in place ready for action - ส่ง (ทหาร, ตำรวจ) ประจำการ
disperse: (of a crowd) to cause to separate and move in different directions, i.e., to end being a crowd - สลาย (การชุมนุม)
disrupt: to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected - ทำให้เสียกระบวน, ทำให้เสียระบบ, ทำให้สับสน
elements: sets or groups of people - องค์ประกอบ
estimated: thought to be a particular amount, size, etc. based on a guess or the best information available - ประมาณการ
gather: to come together in a group - รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน, จับกลุ่มกัน, ชุมนุม
handle: to take action in order to deal with a difficult situation - ดูแล, จัดการ
harsh: cruel, severe and unkind - กระด้าง, รุนแรง, ห้าว, เกรี้ยวกราด
illegal: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย, นอกกฎหมาย
impose: to introduce something, such as a new law or new system and force people to accept it - นำกฎหมายมาบังคับใช้
indicate: to show that something is true, exists or will happen - แสดง, ให้สัญญาณ
Internal Security Act (ISA): a special law which allows the country's top security agency, the Internal Security Operations Command, to impose curfews, operate checkpoints and restrict the movement of demonstrators Under the act, the military has the authority to search protesters for weapons and use force in case of any violence. - พรบ.ความมั่นคง
invocation: the use of a law or rule in order to achieve something - การประกาศใช้, การอ้าง (กฎหมาย)
invoke: to use a rule or law as a reason or basis for doing something - ประกาศใช้ (กฎหมาย), อ้าง (กฎหมาย)
last: to continue for a particular length of time - กินเวลา
measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
negotiate: to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way - เจรจาต่อรอง
opposite: across from or facing someone or something - ที่อยู่ตรงกันข้าม
ordinary: not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ
overreaction: reacting too strongly, especially to something unpleasant - การมีปฏิกิริยารุนแรงเกินไป
overthrow: to force a person or government out of power - โค่นอำนาจ
petition: to ask someone in authority to do something - ยื่นคำร้อง
prompt: to cause something to happen or be done - ก่อให้เกิด
protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
protracted: lasting for a long time - ที่ยืดเยื้อเป็นเวลานาน
provoke: to cause an angry or aggressive reaction - ปลุกเร้า
rally: a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something - การชุมนุม
reinforcements: extra police officers or soldiers who go to help an existing group police officers or soldiers - การระดมกำลัง
response: a reaction to something that has happened or been said - การตอบสนอง
retired: no longer working because you have reached the age where you are officially too old to work or you want to stop working - เกษียณอายุ
riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล
sanctity: the state of being very important and worth protecting; the state of being holy - ความน่าเคารพบูชา, ความศักดิ์สิทธิ์
secure: to make an area or building safe - ป้องกัน ทำให้ปลอดภัย
security: protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
seize: to take control of a place or situation - เข้ายึดพื้นที่
site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
slam: to strongly criticise someone or something - วิพากษ์วิจารณ์อย่างรุนแรง
source: someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว
spark: to make something happen, especially something bad - ก่อให้เกิด
stage: to organise an event or activity - จัด
status: official or legal position - สถานภาพ
tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with something - จัดการ, รับมือ
top brass: the people with the highest positions of authority, especially in the armed forces - บุคคลสำคัญ
turn up: to come somewhere - มาถึง
unrest: angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something - สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
upcoming: happening soon; available soon - ซึ่งกำลังจะเกิดขึ้น, ซึ่งกำลังจะมา
uprising: a political situation in which a large group of people opposes and tries to defeat the government or a ruler - การลุกฮือขึ้นก่อการปฏิวัติ
warrant: to be/make necessary or appropriate in a particular situation - มีเหตุผลอันสมควร
weapon: an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ
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