Cambodia deploys 4,500 police for Thaksin’s safety: Red Shirt leader


BANGKOK, April 12 – A key leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Thailand’s Red Shirt movement, said Thursday that more than 4,000 Cambodian police will be deployed to ensure the safety of Thailand’s ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra who will visit the country this week.

UDD key leader Jatuporn Prompan, also a Pheu Thai party-list MP, said the Cambodian government will step up security measures at venues where the ex-Thai premier will visit during the Songkran Festival with 4,000 police officers and 500 plainclothes police being deployed.

Mr Jatuporn added that a number of Red Shirt guards will also join the security operations with the Cambodian officers.

He said that the Red Shirt supporters will cross the border into Cambodia beginning Saturday April 14 to join the water-pouring ceremony to ask a blessing from Mr Thaksin on the Thai New Year. He asked the red-clad festival-goers to enter the neighbouring country legally.

The venue of the water-pouring ceremony will be under tightened security, said Mr Jatuporn, adding that Cambodian officials will maintain highest security at all its entrances and exits.

Mr Thaksin, who is now in the neighbouring country Laos, earlier claimed that he had been under threat of his life four times.

On Wednesday, his arrival destination was changed without prior notice from Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport where a number of his supporters gathered to an army airport elsewhere for security concerns.

The fugitive ex-premier is scheduled to leave Pakse in the Lao PDR’s Champasak province for Siem Riep, Cambodia, on Saturday.

On Thursday, a 40 bus UDD caravan left Nong Khai across the Friendship Bridge for Vientiane for a water-pouring ceremony with their leader.

It is reported that the Lao authorities asked the UDD supporters not to wear red outfits and that only one thousand were allowed to meet with Mr Thaksin at Phra That Luang in Vientiane due to security concerns.