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Phuket may face draconian Internal Security Act



Phuket may face draconian Internal Security Act | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Cabinet will today consider a proposal to apply Thailand’s Internal Security Act to Phuket during the upcoming Asean ministerial meeting which will be attended by the US Secretary of State.

An informed source said this morning that the Act, if approved, would task the nation’s powerful Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), which is chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, with the responsibility and authority to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure security for the meeting.

Implementation would put Phuket under the Act from July 10 to 24.

The Asean foreign ministers’ meeting is scheduled to be held from July 16 to 23. It has been postponed twice since red-shirted protesters broke into a nearby building at the aborted initial meeting in Pattaya in April.

The Phuket meeting will be attended by ministers of 26 countries, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Phuket will also host the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conferences, and the 16th Asean Regional Forum (ARF) on Phuket.

The ISOC reasons that imposition of the Internal Security Act is necessary following the Pattaya disaster which tarnished Thailand’s image and reputation as well as inflicting severe damage to its economy.

The ISOC is said to believe that an ill-intentioned group, based both inside and outside Thailand, may again try to stage unrest during the meeting, similar to what occured in Pattaya.

If today’s Cabinet meeting agrees to impose the Internal Security Act, it will cover Phuket island as well as a radius of five kilometers out to sea.


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