PM voices condolences, tightens security

national November 15, 2015 01:00

By THE SUNDAY NATION

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THAILAND yesterday conveyed its condolences and expressed shock and deep sadness over the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday night, which left at least 127 people dead.



Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a tightening of security and safety measures at many places including the French Embassy in Bangkok, Deputy Government Spokesman Maj-General Werachon Sukondhapatipak said.
Prayut said: “On behalf of the Royal Thai Government and people of the Kingdom of Thailand, I wish to convey our deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families that have been affected by this tragic incident.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with France during this difficult time.”
Prayut also ordered the Thai Embassy in Paris to take good care of Thai citizens in France and closely follow the situation in the aftermath of the attacks.
Prayut asked the public not to panic, vowing to ensure that the authorities would provide security. Werachon added that Thailand did not have conflict with any country and the government was willing to cooperate with the international community on anti-terror activities.
Police, meanwhile, were ordered to boost security and safety measures at many places, including foreign embassies and popular tourist venues in wake of the attacks.
Pol Lt-General Sanit Mahatavorn, the acting metropolitan police commissioner, said he had ordered tighter security at many places in Bangkok, including the French Embassy and venues where French nationals gather. 
He also asked the public to be the eyes and ears for police on such matters.
Police spokesman Pol General Dejnarong Sutthicharnbancha said immigration police have been ordered to closely monitor people coming into or leaving the country, in a bid to ensure safety in the aftermath of the attacks.
Immigration police chief, Pol Lt-General Natthorn Proesunthorn, has issued an urgent order for police to be on alert and report any suspicious movements.
Dejnarong said police would inspect various sites and monitor the movements of anyone suspicious, especially at tourist sites. 
His deputy, Pol Major Piyapan Pingmuang said safety guidelines at foreign embassies and tourist attractions were intact, and intelligence officials had not reported any suspicious movements.
Meanwhile, Airports of Thailand Plc (AOT) ordered a security alert at airports in Bangkok in wake of the violence in Paris.
AOT president Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said that flight operations at the main airport in Bangkok continued as usual, but security would be boosted. 
He said all airlines would continue services at Suvarnabhumi, including flights to Paris. 
As of yesterday, there were no reports of flight cancellations. 
AOT tightened security measures after the attacks and asked staff to monitor the situation closely. The frequency of CCTV security checks has also been increased. 
The company also increased security measures at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok by checking all passengers and their luggage, as well as random luggage checking.
The company re-arranged traffic lines, plus parking at the passenger terminal – with cars not allowed to park in front of the terminal. It halted the issuing of any convenience tickets. 
AOT has prepared fire engines and trucks in cooperation with all airlines and the Air Operators Certificate. 
Charoen Wangananont, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said the tragedy in France would have a negative impact on tourism because of the high number of fatalities.
He said that 100,000 Thais travel to France every year or 7 per cent of total Thais travelling overseas. Each year, more than 5 million Thais travel abroad and 80 per cent of them travel to Asia. 
ATTA has been working with the private sector and authorities over safety and security as the country has faced violence and unrest.