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Thai army to provide security at ASEAN summit

Thai army to provide security at ASEAN summit

The Thai Cabinet approved the use of a law Tuesday that will put the army in charge of security at a regional summit in Thailand in July, after anti-government protesters forced an embarrassing, premature end to another meeting earlier this year.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said the Internal Security Act was being invoked in Phuket and the surrounding area to ensure the safety of all delegates at the ASEAN Regional Forum on the resort island.
The Act allows the military to order curfews and restrict freedom of movement in situations deemed harmful to national security. It also allows the military to detain suspects without trial and restrict access to electronic equipment _ a vague clause that critics say permits censorship of the Internet and could allow authorities to tap telephones.
"The law is necessary to facilitate security operations for the (foreign) ministers" during the summit, Abhisit said.
An Asian summit at the seaside resort of Pattaya in April was shut down in chaos when protesters seeking the ouster of Abhisit's government overran the hotel where the meeting was taking place. Regional leaders fled the summit venue by helicopter.
The incident caused much embarrassment for Thai authorities who had already postponed the summit from December when thousands of anti-government protesters blockaded Bangkok's two main airports for eight days.
The July 10-24 ASEAN Regional Forum will be attended by representatives from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its dialogue partners: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, East Timor, the European Union, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, North Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Korea and the United States.


Updated : 2021-05-18 14:14 GMT+08:00