Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket residents decidedly calm in run-up to Asean

Published

 on 

PHUKET CITY: Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan yesterday told the international community that the upcoming meetings of Asean foreign ministers and dialogue partners would be secure.

“I want to assure you all that the security arrangements are superb and the meetings will proceed without disruption,” he said.

In April, anti-government protesters stormed into the Asean Summit’s venue in Pattaya, forcing the government to abruptly cancel the event.

Mr Surin, a former Thai foreign minister, said the security arrangements had naturally become a focus of media attention this time.

While not directly mentioning the April fiasco, he said: “I want to reiterate we have confidence in the smooth proceeding of the ARF [Asean Regional Forum] and AMM [Asean Ministerial Meeting] in the next few days.”

Mr Surin arrived in Phuket yesterday for the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC) and the 16th Asean Regional Forum.

Foreign ministers from the 10 Asean countries convene on Monday to discuss issues that include the formation of an Asean human-rights body.

Later in the week they will meet their counterparts and their representatives from 17 other countries and the European Union for the PMC and ARF.

Among the participants are US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will attend the ARF.

Phuket has been placed under the Internal Security Act since July 10. The law was imposed on the island province in order to avoid the embarrassing mistakes committed in Pattaya.

Vehicles were being randomly searched at checkpoints around the conference venue at the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket.

Military officers were present to help the police with security. There was also a presence of military officers inside the meeting-venue compound, which also houses the media center.

Some soldiers carried pistols, but no assault rifles were seen.

Journalists were not intimidated by the security measures.

Thu Ha Vu, a reporter from the Viet Nam News, said she thought the security, while by no means harsh in appearance, was sufficient to keep the meeting safe.

She praised the selection of Phuket, as well as the Laguna complex of hotels, saying it would be difficult for prospective protesters to access the area.

A reporter from Burma said she found the general atmosphere ahead of the meetings “very quiet”.

Security measures were lighter than what she saw in her own country ahead of such an important event, she said.

Phuket Gazette reporters living within the five-kilometer heightened-security area surrounding Laguna Phuket, venue for the conferences, say the atmosphere continues decidedly calm, with “very light traffic” and what many see as a smaller-than-expected uniformed security presence.

“The reality is a far cry from the hype and glitter of some Web reports which have cited huge traffic tailbacks and predicted military tanks rumbling in the streets,” said Walter Marizzi, owner of a restaurant in the Laguna area. “It’s just not happening,” he added. 

— Nation & Gazette Reporters

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World3 hours ago

25 arrested in Germany suspected of leading a ‘right-wing’ coup

Thailand6 hours ago

23 military students hospitalised after being trained too hard

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | British man who loves Thailand banned for 5 years for overstaying

Sponsored9 hours ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Crime6 hours ago

Police arrest another Chinese visa overstayer living it up in Thailand

Hot News6 hours ago

Christmas present to Phuket motorists: Patong Hill road to reopen

Thailand7 hours ago

Firework maker killed in firework accident in eastern Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand7 hours ago

Lao star swindled by Thai celebrity, more than 500 million baht lost

Thailand8 hours ago

Father chains up daughter and forces her to return to abusive husband

China8 hours ago

China mulls downgrading Covid-19 status as protests continue

Business9 hours ago

Tesla to launch in Thailand this month

Apple9 hours ago

Two women sue Apple saying AirTag product gives stalkers access to their whereabouts

Thailand9 hours ago

Electioneering: Thaksin’s daughter vows to end poverty in Thailand

Thailand9 hours ago

Thai travel agent group says travel restrictions hamper tourism growth

Hot News9 hours ago

Thailand pushes for more international flights as tourism surges

Crime10 hours ago

Man stabs passersby in Bangkok, 1 killed 1 injured

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending