Security in Bangkok tightened

Security in Bangkok tightened

BANGKOK - Security has been beefed up in Bangkok as protesters wait to hear the Constitutional Court's ruling on charter amendment.

About two companies of policemen were deployed to secure the court compound, with 20 officers taking up sentry duty to keep out unauthorised individuals. Roadblocks and barriers have also been set up to shield the court building.

Meanwhile, five companies of police officers were deployed to secure Rajamangala Stadium, where pro-government red shirts are rallying.

Citing an approval by the prime minister, Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said yesterday that he was now in charge of running the police crowd-control measures.

He said he would work with Deputy PM Pracha Promnog, who is already in charge of national security. "I am sure my job and his would not be in conflict because we would coordinate," he added.

Chalerm added that a coordination centre has already been set up at the Labour Ministry, where a daily meeting with the police will be held. National Security Council Secretary-General Paradorn Pattanathabutr and Government Spokesman Teerat Ratanasevi also serve at this centre.

The red-shirt rally at the Rajamangala Stadium kicked off yesterday with some 1,500 protesters coming from all over the country, including Chiang Mai, Buri Ram, Udon Thani and Nakhon Ratchasima.

Red-shirt leader Thida Thavorn-seth said the protesters will disperse today if the court ruling is positive, otherwise the leaders will meet and decide on future moves.

Somphote Prasartthai, a red-shirt leader from Nakhon Ratchasima, said some 100 former paramilitary rangers hailing from the province were coming to Bangkok to serve as guards for the protest.

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