Policemen to Garrison Government House Ahead of Student Protest

Anti-government protest at a university in Bangkok on Sept. 16, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Three companies of policemen will be deployed from Thursday in the premises of Thailand’s Government House as part of the government’s preparations for a student protest at the upcoming weekend, officials said Wednesday.

Those policemen from the Metropolitan Police headquarters are staying on alert inside the Government House for stepped-up security reasons at least until the upcoming Sunday, said officials attached to the Government House.

Closed-circuit TV cameras have been installed at varied spots around all buildings in the premises of the Government House whereas three power generators have been prepared in case of emergency, they said.

‘Leaked Memo’ Claims Army is Mobilizing for Next Protest

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who earlier said he has instructed the police to exercise patience and never use force against the anti-government protesters, has assigned Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon to closely monitor the situation.

The student protesters, led by the so-called Free Youth movement, have planned to gather at Thammasat University’s Tha Phra Chan campus or a nearby Sanam Luang ground on Saturday and to proceed on Ratchadamnoen Avenue to the Government House on Sunday.

They have urged Prayut to have the police stop arresting political activists, endorse constitution amendment bids and finally dissolve the House of Representatives and call a general election.

Emergency Decree Extended

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday told the media that the emergency decree will be extended for another three months in three southern provinces of the country.

They are Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani Provinces.

“The Royal Gazette had already published the announcement on its website after I signed the approval,” confirmed Prayut.

The extension announcement was signed by Prayut on Sept. 11 under the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in an Emergency Situation.

The emergency extension had also been approved by the Cabinet.

The areas under emergency include all districts in the three provinces except Srisakhon, Su-Ngai Kolok and Sukirin in Narathiwat, Betong in Yala and Maikaen and Maelan in Pattani.

The announcement said the extension would enable officials to track down and arrest insurgents who aim to undermine national security through violence and terror actions, as well as ensure the safety of people in the areas.

The prime minister also said that all security units in the three provinces must build up public confidence by conducting a thorough assessment of the situation, taking the offensive in intelligence operations and ensuring justice in law enforcement.

Thailand’s southern insurgency has been prevalent for 15 years.