Asean leaders seek 5km protest ban for meetings in Phuket

PHUKET: Asean leaders concerned about their safety have demanded a ban on protests within five kilometres of the conference venue as a condition to attend an Asean summit in Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand.

“We will declare the meeting venue off-limits to gatherings and for that we have to see which legal avenue we can resort to in order to implement the measure,’ Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday afternoon.

Authorities were reviewing safety and security measures and they would prepare concrete steps by next week, he said.

The government has tentatively selected Phuket to hold the rescheduled Asean+3 and Asean+6 meetings.

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Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said the final decision on the location would be made in the middle of next month after consultation with all parties. He said representatives of agencies were willing to organise the event.

The government has invited diplomats from 16 countries to discuss the meeting plans today.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police commissioner Lt-General Worapong Chiewpreecha said he had asked the military to supply nine companies to help provide security during the celebrations of His Majesty the King’s 60th coronation anniversary tomorrow.

The assistance would include specialists in detecting and defusing bombs, sniffer dogs, medical personnel and ambulances.

He expects up to 300,000 people to join the event. Nine stages will be set up, presenting a variety of activities along the street from Dusit Palace to Rajdamnoen Road, and on to Sanam Luang.

Phuket News
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