No violence expected, troops mobilized to protect Prem

17 09 2009

Readers will recall PPT’s posts regarding the used of the ISA (yet again) by the Democrat Party-led government. We blogged about how the National Human Rights Commission questioned the government’s use of the ISA and we blogged today about statements regarding “no violence expected.” In that latter post we asked why the government was using the ISA if it didn’t expect violence.

Those questions remain and are given greater urgency when The Nation (18 September 2009: “Security gears up to enforce ISA”) reports on how the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) has geared up when it isn’t expecting violence but worries about a mysterious “third hand.”

ISOC has deployed 6,500 troops and police. In addition, 350 Bangkok-based ISOC officials were watching and planning.

The government is closing roads ” around Government House and the old Army Club, which is next to the residence of Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda,  … to ‘facilitate the officials involved in the operation’.”The “acting” government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn revealed that “intelligence showed that protesters would gather at the premises of certain state offices including military barracks and homes of important figures.”

Protecting Prem seems to have become the paramount issue of national security. In a more recent report, red shirts are banned from the area of Prem’s army residence (see Bangkok Post, 18 September 2009).

Panitan made this issue of even greater importance by urging “anyone with information about possible acts of violence to alert authorities.”

Responsibility for all of this lies with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva as  director of ISOC and with Suthep Thaugsuban, who is in charge of security affairs, when Abhisit is in the United States.

In a final piece of double-speak, it was said that authorities “would not use force except in cases of violence and violations of law, regulations and prohibitions…”. Given the broad scope of the ISA and other regulations, this give the government remarkable powers.



2 responses

18 09 2009
New: More security for Prem « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] More security for Prem In an earlier post, PPT observed that protecting Prem Tinsulanonda seemed to have become the paramount issue of […]

22 09 2009
New: A country for old men? « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] to protect Prem in recent days is also to be understood as a part of this conservative project (see here and […]

%d bloggers like this: