Anti-government rallies are being planned in Thailand by the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) from March 12–14, 2010.
Given the large number of people expected to attend such rallies, on March 9, 2010, the Thai Cabinet approved the use of the Internal Security Act B.E. 2551 (2008) in the areas of Bangkok and certain districts of seven nearby provinces from March 11-23, 2010. These are:
– Areas of Bangkok
– Nonthaburi Province
– Pathumthani Province
– Samut Sakhon Province
– Samut Prakan Province
– Nakhon Pathom Province
– Chachoengsao Province
– Ayutthaya Province
The decision to invoke the ISA is deemed necessary as a precautionary step to ensure law and order. The ISA will enable security agencies — police, military, and civilian — to more effectively integrate their effort and take measures provided for under the act and applicable laws to prevent and mitigate, as much as possible, undue disruption or impact on the safety of the general public.
Some preventive measures have already been put in place, including setting up of checkpoints and patrols in the inner area of Bangkok. In this connection, additional checkpoints will be set up in Bangkok and other nearby provinces. There would be temporary closure of a few thoroughfares around important government buildings. Rapid deployment units have also been set up to ensure timely responses in case any incident occurs. Clear instructions have been given to all security agencies that officers exercise the utmost restraint, and should the situation escalate, that they take a graduated response — from light to heavy measures — in accordance with internationally-accepted practices, with due respect to human rights principles.
For tourists visiting the Kingdom, it should be stressed that foreigners have not been targeted in the on-going political conflict.
However, foreigners are advised to be vigilant, particularly in the areas where crowds may gather. The Royal Thai government will continue to step up measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all foreigners in Thailand.
On March 9, 2010, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya also affirmed to the diplomatic corps that the Royal Thai government would do its utmost to provide security for the public, including the diplomatic community, and would do so in accordance with the rule of law and with utmost restraint.
The law does not prohibit nor obstruct peaceful demonstrations held within the bounds of the law. The Royal Thai government respects people’s constitutional right to peaceful assembly, while the security measures to be put in place would help ensure security and peaceful and orderly assembly of the demonstrators.
The public has also been requested to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities, including to the Bangkok Metropolitan Call Centre by dialing 1555.
For tourist assistance or information, please contact the TAT Call Centre by dialing 1672.
AREAS TO BE AVOIDED
ADVICE FROM THE TOURIST POLICE, SUB-DIVISION 1
Tourists are advised to avoid the following roads:
– Ratchadamnoen Avenue (consisting of Ratchadamnoen Nai, Ratchadamnoen Klang and Ratchadamnoen Nok)
– Vibhavadi Rangsit Road
– Rama 9 Road
– Samsen Road
– Victory Monument
– Rama IV
– Silom Road
– Rajdamri Road
According to other police reports, anti-government rallies are expected in the following protest sites. Roads may be blockaded. Visitors and tourists are also advised to avoid the following areas:
– Klong 4 in Thanyaburi district in Pathum Thani
– Klong 4 Rangsit in Pathum Thani
– Laksi democracy monument in Bangkhen
– Thung Song Hong police station
– Nonthaburi City Hall
– Tha Phra Chan Pier
– Thailand-Japanese Sports Complex in Din Daeng
– Lumphini Park
– Wongwien Yai, Thonburi
– Bang Na intersection
– Samut Prakan City Hall
In the area around Sanam Luang, The Grand Palace, and Khao San Road:
– Maharaj Road, Bumrungmuang Road, Phra Arthit Road, Lan Luang Road
– Rama 6 Road
Alternative Routes Around Silom Road
– Sathorn Road, Surawong Road and Narathiwat Rajanagarindra Road
SHOWN ON THE MAPS – Routes to Avoid vs. Recommended Routes: Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Silom Road
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE TAT CALL CENTRE — 1672
Sources: Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tourist Police Division, Sub-Division 1
For the latest updates, please visit: www.TATnews.org .