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19 October 2009

Thai PM: More forces to boost security at Asean Summit

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Although the Thai government has imposed the Internal Security Act (ISA) in two Thai provinces where an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit will be held later this week, the number of security personnel assigned to the event may be increased further as anti-government protesters now plan to submit letters to Asean leaders, state news agency TNA quoted Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as saying Sunday.

Abhisit said leaders of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) could summit complaint letters anywhere and not necessarily during the summit and that he hoped everybody must have learned a bitter lesson from the abrupt cancellation of Asean summit in Pattaya resort in April this year.

Every sector should now join hands in making the country advanced further, Abhisit said, adding that his government has activated the ISA in both provinces and the number of security personnel may be further boosted because some people “still want to create chaos” in the country.

In an attempt to ensure that this week’s Asean summit would proceed smoothly, the government imposed ISA in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin and Petchaburi’s Cha-am from October 12 to 25. The summit will be held in the two resorts October 23-25.

The ISA is also in force in Bangkok’s Dusit district through October 25 to maintain order, as it could be disrupted by the UDD. The upcoming summit was rescheduled after being abruptly cancelled in mid-April when UDD activists stormed the hotel in Pattaya which was the venue of the summit.

Meanwhile, Sathit Pitudecha, Democrat Party administrative committee member, advised UDD leader Arisman Pongruengrong to rethink his plan to submit letters of complaint letters to Asean leaders during the summit in view of the Pattaya incident and to refrain from doing anything which could tarnish the country’s image.

Arisman led the United Front protesters storming the Pattaya hotel in April, forcing Abhisit to cancel the Asean summit.

“It seems like the ‘Red Shirt’ people are trying to oust this government before the end of this year,” said Sathit, adding that this could be seen from alleged false statements released by the UDD. Some of its members may join other (anti-government activists) to create violence in order to create political disruption in Thailand.


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