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Yingluck Fears Violence At Protest; Police Claim Plot To Kidnap Prime Minister

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POLITICS

PM fears violence at protest

The Nation

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Court rejects legal challenge to protest; police claim plot to kidnap Yingluck

BANGKOK: -- A partial Cabinet meeting yesterday enforced the Internal Security Act (ISA) in three Bangkok districts to deal with the anti-government rally scheduled for tomorrow, while the police chief expressed fears the protesters may try to kidnap the prime minister.

Meanwhile, the Constitution Court yesterday rejected all three petitions filed against the Pitak Siam group aimed at blocking its rally tomorrow. The court found no grounds to believe that the rally was aimed at overthrowing the country's democratic system of government, as had been claimed by the petitioners.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in a televised address last night, said her Cabinet had resolved to impose the ISA due to the Pitak Siam leaders' threat to overthrow her elected government and the possibility of violence.

"There is evidence that violence may be used. It is the government's duty to preserve law and order, and protect the lives and property of everyone. Most importantly, the government must protect the democratic system under the constitutional monarchy," she said in a recorded speech.

"Being a democracy is not only about exercising one's freedom. The rule of law must also be observed and obeyed. In exercising one's rights and freedoms, one must not impinge on the rights and freedoms of others," she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung convened the nine-member partial Cabinet meeting in the morning and announced the enforcement of the ISA from yesterday until November 30 in Phra Nakhon, Pom Prab Sattru Phai and Dusit districts.

The move would allow the government to call for military reinforcements if police fail to control the protesters during the demonstration led by retired General Boonlert Kaewprasit.

Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul said the ministry's permanent secretary had clarified the government’s imposition of the ISA to a conference of foreign ambassadors and diplomats.

National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said the ISA would not disturb the daily lives of most residents of the capital.

Police expect at least 50,000 people to join the activities at the Royal Plaza, where more than 100 police companies would be stationed to maintain peace and order, Adul said.

Special Branch police had learned that the protesters would try to incite a riot and take Yingluck hostage, he said.

"We're worried about this information picked up by our intelligence agency, and we must prevent it from happening," the police general said.

The ISA is designed to help law enforcers contain a potentially explosive situation as it allows authorities to restrict access to certain areas, as well as the use of transportation, he said.

Police believe some people will try to stir up violence because they had prepared some materials for this purpose and certain groups had already made some moves, he added.

National Police spokesman Pol Maj-General Piya Uthayo said 112 police companies have been prepared and police from the provinces had travelled to Bangkok to be on standby for deployment to the rally site.

Police would ensure that the protesters remain at the Royal Plaza and do not spread out to other areas to bother the public in general, he said.

Police from other divisions would work with Metropolitan Police Division 1 to man strategic spots to contain the protesters, Piya said.

Police recommended the use of the ISA because police intelligence officers had discovered that the protesters would try to move around to create trouble, he said, adding that the organisers would also try to mobilise more protesters and had made preparations to try to stir up violence.

Police would not be able to control the situation using normal laws, so the ISA was needed to prohibit entry to certain areas, Piya said. "For example, Government House and Parliament House will be off-limits to the protesters. Anyone going in there will be arrested."

Police had arranged for a place to detain protesters violating orders issued under the ISA, he said.

If police become outnumbered, they will call for backup from other agencies.

Police checkpoints were instructed to work with transparency and coordinate with all other units through communications networks.

Defensive operations have been planned to protect the two Bangkok airports, TV and radio stations, public utilities and transport systems.

Adul had sent letters to the three armed forces branches to assign military officers to function as liaisons at the police's operations centre handling the rally.

A police team led by Pol General Chatchawal Suksomjit, an adviser to the National Police, would monitor the speeches of protest leaders, Piya added.

Pol Lt-Colonel Anchalee Thirawongpaisal, deputy police spokeswoman, said Police General Hospital would dispatch mobile medical units to take care of demonstrators and police around the clock. In case of an emergency, the hospital would seek help from other state and private hospitals.

Boonlert, the rally leader, said the move to wield ISA powers would provoke a bigger turnout at the rally.

Officials working at Government House were told to be ready in case the demonstration continues until Monday and the entrances are sealed off. They would be informed by SMS if their offices were relocated elsewhere.

The Cabinet Secretariat also said next week's Cabinet meeting had been cancelled.

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-- The Nation 2012-11- 23

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Court says Pitak Siam rally can proceed

The Nation

BANGKOK: -- The Constitution Court yesterday rejected three petitions filed against the Pitak Siam group seeking to block its anti-government protest tomorrow, according to a court spokesman.

The court found no grounds to believe that the rally was aimed at overthrowing the country's democratic system of government, as had been claimed by the petitioners, said chief spokesman Pimol Thampitakpong.

"It was found that the protest targets the government only. There are no grounds to support the claim that the protest is aimed at overthrowing the democratic system. So the court rejected the petitions," the spokesman said.

The court would welcome future petitions if complainants have further evidence to support their claims against Pitak Siam, the spokesman said.

The decision came after seven court judges heard from two lawyers representing the Pitak Siam leader, retired General Boonlert Kaewprasit. The court was told that Boonlert did not say he wanted to "freeze the country", as had been reported, rather that he called for "freezing corrupt politicians" to prevent them from running the country for five years.

The court's two other judges were on leave.

The petitions were filed separately by former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, lawyer Nuengdin Vimuttanant and Pheu Thai Party member Singthong Buachum.

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-- The Nation 2012-11- 23

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"...while the police chief expressed fears the protesters may try to kidnap the prime minister."

Well now, that's a convenient rumor/tactic. Reds are getting mighty scared about tomorrow. Heaven forbid democracy and free speech is allowed to exist under their regime.

Are you scared or is that a rumour.

Waiting for a tweet from Oak on Twitter to confirm.

.

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Its OK for the reds to loot and burn and riot and threaten. But not ok for anyone else. Off course, the whole purpose of the Red/government stance on this is to be able to blame the 'protest' movement for the mayhem that the reds will inevitably cause amongst the ranks of the protesters thus allowing the Government to give itself even more repressive powers. We're on our way!.

More repressive power might very well trigger something way bigger and maybe not in favor of the current bunch puppet government

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If there was such a plot to kidnap someone, let alone the PM, surely this in and of itself is a crime, so I wonder if anyone is going to be arrested for planning such a dastardly crime. Beyond that, any newspaper going to grill any copper on any details of the plan?

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This whole thing was staged. They wheel out all these partisan officials all under the Chalerm and Damapong umbrellas with their carefully prepared speeches all based on cooked up "information".

I expect to see Mugabe's ugly moosh at any moment

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"We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

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Well unless she is going to be front and centre at the protest surrounded with 50,000 policeman, how is the ISA going to help one jot. As the sister of a billionaire she would have been a potential kidnap target.

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ANTI-GOVT RALLY

Govt trusts police to control protest

The Nation

Worries Army will favour protesers; ISA enforced in some areas of city

BANGKOK: -- The Cabinet yesterday decided to enforce the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the inner areas of the capital as a measure to control the Saturday protest, but put police chief Adul Saengsingkeaw in charge rather than the Army chief, who is traditionally empowered to enforce the law.

As per the ISA, the prime minister - as director of the Internal Security Operation Command (Isoc) - is authorised to command all officials working in the agency, with the Army chief as her deputy.

However, the premier, as Isoc director also has the authority to pick anybody from within the security command or from other agencies to become her assistant.

Observers, meanwhile, have been questioning why the Cabinet has decided to exercise the ISA and put the police chief in charge of controlling the anti-government protest instead of putting it in the hands of the Army chief.

Analysts say that perhaps the government does not trust the Army enough because it might end up favouring the protesters. It is widely believed that the government under Yingluck Shinawatra has still not been able to build a better relationship with the Army.

Besides, it was the police commander-in-chief Adul who suggested that the government use the ISA as a legal instrument to control the situation during the protest.

An official at the National Security Council (NSC) said police had the authority to use basic laws such as the Penal Code to handle the protest, but the government is worried that the police may not have any legal impunity to handle the situation of things get out of hand.

Previously, former police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan was accused of abusing of power and misconduct after his actions to control the yellow-shirt protest on October 7, 2008, killed two and injured many others. The National Anti-Corruption Commission will be indicting him soon.

Though the ISA does not provide direct legal impunity to officials involved in the operation, it can be used as a reference and a backup because it grants them direct authority.

The ISA's Article 18 also authorises the Cabinet to tell state officials what actions are necessary to handle the situation. The Cabinet can also order the restriction of people's movement, launch a curfew, block roads, order people to stop using electronic devices for safety reasons as well prohibit people from carrying weapons.

Adul plans to mobilise some 50,000-80,000 police officers to control the Saturday rally. An NSC official said the number of police officers mobilised is expected to match the number of protesters. The official added that the police chief was preparing such a huge police force to handle the situation because he believes that the military will not cooperate or step in to help in case of emergency.

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-- The Nation 2012-11- 23

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protesters may try to kidnap the prime minister

What would be the point? Nobody would pay the ransom. sad.png

big brother is known to be greedy, and he has a lot other family members who could do her job.

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The Govt just trying to get public sympathy ahead of no-confidence debate and that otherwise irrelevant protest. Actually by it's actions, the Govt is helping to make this protest much more significant than it would otherwise be. They use these wild stories about ASSassinations, kidnappings, coup d'etat, etc to create the appearance of being victimized. This is the image that Thaksin has been promoting for himself ever since he was convicted of corruption. Now, even though his mob has almost monopolized power in the country, they are trying to create a public image of being victimized .... this is classic Robert Amsterdam. i.e. the 'victimizer' claims to be 'victimized'. If you keep saying it enough times, some people start believing it.

yes it definitely stirs up the public curiosity.

The government did an upgrade, from just another hardly noticed demonstration to something really big. And many people who thought that they anyway can't change anything, see the government scared and may join in now.

Lets see what the weekend brings.....hopefully a new government and not a killing of demonstrators.

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