Reuters: “Thailand passes tough security law to control protest”
Thailand’s government passed a security law Tuesday that clears the way for the military to be brought in to control a planned rally by supporters of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), better known as the “red shirts,” plan to demonstrate Sunday outside Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s office, calling for his resignation.
A three-week occupation of the premier’s office in April sparked Thailand’s worst street violence in 17 years, forcing Abhisit to call a state of emergency and stoking concerns over the stability of Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.
Straits Times: “Thailand invokes ISA”
Thailand’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved the invoking of an internal security law to keep order at an anti-government rally in Bangkok on Sunday.
The law, which suspends some civil rights and puts the military in charge of law and order, will apply only to the historic Dusit district where the rally will take place.
The red-shirted United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) is holding the rally with a twin message: it is calling for dissolution of the House and fresh elections; and for the government not to stall over the petition for a royal pardon for fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
The petition, signed by more than three million people, was sent last week by the King’s office to the government for review.
The invocation of the law, which allows the military to move quickly without declaring a state of emergency, reflects mounting anxiety over the administration of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who is perceived as weak.