No cabinet consideration on special law enforcement: NSC chief

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BANGKOK, July 30 – Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) chief on Tuesday said the cabinet has not yet considered imposing the Internal Security Act (ISA) to maintain law and order as anti-government protesters plan to rally against the House deliberation of the controversial amnesty bill.

NSC secretary-general Lt Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr said amid concern of escalating political situation as the lawmakers will reconvene at the parliament August 1. The Amnesty Bill, sponsored by Pheu Thai MP Vorachai Hema, is tentatively scheduled for debate on August 7.

Anti-government groups earlier threatened to rally as the House reopens.

Gen Paradorn said today’s cabinet meeting has not yet raised the question of imposing the ISA but the security agencies are meeting this afternoon to assess the situation.

He said the National Police Bureau estimated that about 10,000 people will join the protest, but the number can increase if they combine with supporters of political factions.

Although the place and the pattern of the rally are not yet unveiled, the NSC chief said he believes it will not be different from previous political demonstrations.

Gen Paradorn added that the police are ready to handle demonstrators and hoped that the situation will not worsen so that tear gas is used against the protesters.