BANGKOK, June 27 – Thai police have warned anti-government protesters from the red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) not to block access to Government House or its surrounding areas, in apparent response to protester projections that 25,000-30,000 Red Shirts will join the rally at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang Saturday evening, according to Bangkok Metropolitan Police chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewpreecha.

Pol. Lt-Gen. Worapong said police will search UDD demonstrators for weapons if they move to the Army headquarters and nearby Government House, and protesters will be arrested if found with weapons.

Sanam Luang, Bangkok’s largest public square and meeting place, in front of the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is the capital’s primary traditional focus for protests and other demonstrations.

Concerned police officers met Friday night to discuss security measures for the rally, which is demanding that the coalition government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva dissolve the House and hold fresh elections. Gen. Woraphong chaired the meeting.

Officials believe the rally will not continue for a long period, but police and army personnel are being deployed at critical government offices and intersections, and roads leading to Government House will be closed to prevent the protesters from intruding into the prime minister’s office.

The UDD Red Shirt protesters on Saturday, April 11 stormed the hotel in the eastern seaboard resort of Pattya where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit was being held, forcing Mr. Abhisit to cancel it.

The protesters rampaged in the capital on the following two days, Sunday and Monday, in a series of encounters which left two men shot dead and 123 persons, both protesters and security personnel, wounded or injured, forcing Mr. Abhisit to impose emergency rule.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who oversees Thailand’s domestic security affairs, said police and military will be alert, “on the lookout for any ‘third-hand’ which might aggravate the situation” during Saturday’s rally. (TNA)

News Type : Thailand news
Story : Methawee
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