Government forces nervously await ‘D-Day’

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BANGKOK, Nov 23 – Thailand’s police and military have intensified order-keeping measures including enforcing the Internal Security Act (ISA) in Bangkok following intelligence reports that the anti-government political rally at the Royal Plaza tomorrow will possibly escalate and continue for several days, according to government officials.

Army commander Prayuth Chan-ocha said about 150 soldiers will support the police peace-keeping mission while National Police chief Adul Saengsingkaew said the government decided to implement the ISA after reports that the demonstrators may seal off government buildings and the rally may drag on.

Gen Prayuth said after a meeting at the Internal Security Operations Command that the situation may worsen and the army agreed to assign 150 military personnel to support the police.

The ISOC meeting agreed to set up Law and Order Administrative Centre, under the leadership of Pol Gen Adul, after receiving reports that the rally may turn violent. The centre consists of civilians, police, military and political appointees.

Gen Adul said special emergency centres wil be set up in three Bangkok vicinities, but that police will be the key agency keeping order during the rally which may take a few days.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo, national police spokesman, said the national police chief will today explain every step of the ISA enforcement including protection for the homes of prominent figures.

Pol Lt Gen Nares Nuntachote, First Police Region Commander, dispatched 12 companies, of police, 1,860 officers, to back up the police force in Bangkok.