PM: Law, order must stand
- Published: 22/11/2012 at 09:56 PM
- Online news:
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Thursday night appeared on national television to brief the public on reasons behind the government’s decision to impose the Internal Security Act, saying law and order must be preserved.
The announcement was broadcast via the Television Pool of Thailand shortly before 9pm, with English translation text on the screen.
The prime minister said the ISA is effective from Thursday until Nov 30, covering the rally of the Pitak Siam group and rallies by pro-government groups. She insisted public gatherings and protests must be peaceful, without the use of weapons and within the boundaries of the law.
“But if a large number of people is mobilised by incitement ... and there is evidence that violence may be used, then it is a case of national security.
“It is the government’s duty to preserve law and order, protect the lives and property of everyone -- including those who are protesting and those who are not involved. But most importantly, the government must protect the democratic system under the constitutional monarchy,” said Ms Yingluck.
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She said the measures that have been put in place in accordance with the law are to preempt and prevent any situations in a most timely and effective manner. The operations centre being set up is to ensure an integrated and coordinated approach among all agencies involved in situations that may threaten the well-being of civilians.
She emphasised that the government fully adhere to the democratic system in which freedom of expression should be carried out in the parliament, where the people’s representatives settle differences in viewpoints and resolve political conflicts.
“I became prime minister through free and fair elections by the people, under the democratic process with the monarchy as Head of State. I maintain that all the decisions that I and the government have made, have been and will be in the best interests of the Thai people,” she said.
Three police command centres will be set up near the Pitak Siam protest venue to direct law and order procedures, and people under 18 will not be allowed to take part in the anti-government rally, police said on Thursday.
Spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said the frontline command centres would be at Sanam Suapa ground (next to the Royal Plaza), parliament and Government House. They would be supervised by Metropolitan Police chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang and 40 other police commissioners selected from across the country.
Each command centre would have 5-6 sub-operations units to screen people entering the protest venue, to ensure they do not carry weapons or prohibited substances. Pitak Siam security guards would help police at each checkpoint.
Pol Maj Gen Piya said there were several indicators why the Internal Security Act (ISA) should be imposed. He said intelligence reports warned that the Pitak Siam group would intensify the level of its mass rally and the protest would expand to locations outside the Royal Plaza.
Protest numbers would grow, the police spokesman said, and a group of rally-goers had prepared some "equipment" which may be used to raid government premises, according to the reports. He did not elaborate on what kind of "equipment" was involved.
Photos by Post Today
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