Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister as Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on Tuesday that the Internal Security Act (ISA) is sufficient for the authorities to control the situation on April 5 when both anti and pro-government groups will rally.
Surapong is also chief adviser to the Centre for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO). This special law is enough to supervise and prevent any confrontation between the antigovernment People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and the progovernment red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).
Both sides will be treated equally and with fairness, he added. CAPO director Chalerm Yoobamrung has been assigned to talk with UDD secretary general Nuttawut Saikuar to avoid possible violence.
Meanwhile Army chief Gen Prayuth Chanocha said he believed the political demonstrations would not cause problems and that concerned security agencies were closely monitoring the situation.
Regarding the possibility of imposing a curfew on April 5 for fears of clashes and riots, Gen Prayuth urged the public not to anticipate such a situation, adding that the army is dutybound to ensure safety for protesters and all groups of people.
PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban earlier announced that a major assembly of protest leaders would be held this Saturday to map out a new offensive strategy and set a date for what he is calling the “big battle”.
For its part, the UDD has said that up to 500,000 red shirts are expected to turn up at the group’s Saturday mass rally in three locations.