Thai authorities mull expanding areas under ISA

Thai authorities mull expanding areas under ISA

THAILAND - The Peacekeeping Operations Centre, set up under the Internal Security Act (ISA), might decide to put more areas under the security law should the anti-amnesty protests escalate, its spokesman said yesterday.

Police Maj-General Piya Uthayo said the extent of crowd-control operations would depend on the protesters and their activities at Samsen train station, adding that it looked like the rally organisers were prepared to continue protesting for a long time.

The ISA currently covers |three Bangkok districts where the Government House and Parliament are located. The enforcement expires this month.

As for maintaining peace and order, police and rally organisers have reached a two-point agreement:

The protesters will remain within the rally site, which has been marked from the Sethsiri-Kamphaeng Phet intersection in front of the Chuchan shop to the train station.

The protesters will be allowed to set up camp in the area and can use loudspeakers from 6pm to midnight.

Police have also reminded protesters that their rally site is located in an area that can be attacked by a third party, explaining that assailants can throw objects at them from the overhead expressway. The organisers have also been warned to control the crowds and ensure the train traffic is not blocked.

Apart from the anti-amnesty protesters, some 600 farmers have also been camping out near the train station, and anti-riot forces are worried about possible brawls between the two groups.

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