The Nation


Political Turmoil

Rooftop security to be stepped up

Democrats and govt accuse opponents of planning violence during marches today and plots to stir up trouble

POLICE WILL step up security at key government agencies and deploy officers on rooftops around rally sites today to prevent incidents by third parties wanting to incite violence, a deputy police chief said yesterday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Pol Gen Worapong Chiewpreecha, deputy director of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said police and troops were being deployed to guard key government offices such as Government House and Parliament.

He said officers would also be deployed on high-rise buildings in the area to watch out for possible attacks by third-party groups.

Worapong said CAPO feared a third party may want to incite violence as protesters marched today along nine routes announced by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC). He believed third-party assailants were responsible for incidents that led to protesters being killed and injured near Ramkhamhaeng University last week.

Government offices would protect their own compounds today, but could also request additional assistance from police if they felt it necessary, said the deputy CAPO director, adding that police would clear roads for marchers, if they stayed peaceful and protesters did not try to enter government offices.

Police, he said, would also erect concrete barriers and barbed wire around key government offices, but would reduce the areas covered as protected zones.

CAPO spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said the centre would also avoid confrontation with protesters planning to march on Government House today. Police would adopt a compromising stance, he said, and treat protesters with compassion in attempt to avoid violence. He also called on protesters to remain peaceful - not to carry weapons, and to avoid breaking into state agencies.

Piya said he suspected that ill-intentioned groups on Chaeng Wattana Road intended to provoke clashes by throwing bricks and firebombs at protesters' vehicles. He warned all parties against any mishaps as protesters march.

Democrat deputy spokeswoman Mallika Boonmeetrakool said that prior to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's address to the nation yesterday, she had received a document featuring an instruction from the PM, given via the Defence Ministry, requesting military personnel to monitor protesters at certain rally sites.

There was also another urgent instruction issued to all departments of the Interior Ministry, requesting that 10 per cent of its workforce take back the Ministry of Interior from protesters. The names of officials would be announced today, she said.

Mallika said red-shirts were also mobilising supporters who would gather at the National Memorial on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road today to oppose anti-government protesters led by the Democrat Party.

"When the masses are incited to clash with political opponents, this is a sign of looming political chaos. We urge the PM to review her stance, or she could end up with blood on her hands. The PM should not listen to the advice of her advisers, who seem bent on resorting to force,'' she said.

In other news, Worachai Hema, a Pheu Thai MP from Samut Prakan and red-shirt, alleged the PDRC planned to incite violence during its rally today so it could accuse the government of using force.

Worachai alleged that the PDRC had mobilised southern supporters with weapons to try and stir up trouble. He also claimed anti-government protesters planned to block access to Suvarnabhumi Airport in an effort to create havoc.

Comments conditions

Users are solely responsible for their comments.We reserve the right to remove any comment and revoke posting rights for any reason withou prior notice.