ISA likely to be lifted soon
- Published: 25/11/2012 at 03:40 PM
- Online news:
The government is ready to lift the Internal Security Act (ISA) once security agencies give an assurance that the streets have completely returned to normal, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said before attending a House meeting for the censure debate on Sunday morning.
Ms Yingluck said security agencies held a meeting on Sunday morning to assess the situation before sending a report to the cabinet.
They believe the situation has returned to normal and so the government should lift the ISA, she said, but did not mention an exact date.
The ISA was imposed by the government in three Bangkok districts - Dusit, Pomprap Sattruphai and Phra Nakhon - for the period Nov 22-30 to cope with the rally by the Pitak Siam group of Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit. Gen Boonlert, or Seh Ai, yesterday declared an end to the rally, reasoning that he did not want to see bloodshed.
Ms Yingluck said the Public Health Ministry had been instructed to take care of the protesters wounded in yesterday's clashes with police.
Those arrested would be treated with justice, she said.
The prime minister said she was pleased to see a quick end to the rally and thanked the people and authorities concerned for bringing the situation back to normal.
National Security Council (NSC) chief Paradorn Pattanthabutr echoed Ms Yingluck's comment.
The ISA might be lifted by the government on either Nov 26 or Nov 27, he said.
The peace-keeping centre chaired by police chief Adul Saengsingkaew resolved to submit a proposal tomorrow for the prime minister to lift the ISA and four subsequent announcements issued for authorities to cope with the rally, police spokesman Piya Uthayo said.
After the four announcements issued under the ISA were lifted, police would remove barriers and obstructions and reopen roads ordered closed to maintain law and order.
The peace-keeping centre had learned lessons from yesterday's crowd control and would make proper adjustments in the future, he said.
Gen Boonlert, meanwhile, defended his decision to call off the rally.
He said if the protest by the Pitak Siam group continued into Saturday night there was a chance of a violent incident occuring that would put protesters in danger, he said.
Gen Boonlert said he had heard from news reports that the 137 protesters who were arrested yesterday had been released.
After making the announcement to call off the rally, he immediately called Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, the police chief, and Pol Lt-Col Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, the metropolitan police chief, expressing concern for the arrested.
As for the driver of a six-wheel truck who was charged with attempted murder for ramming the vehicle into a barricade at Makhawan Rangsan bridge, hurting some police, Gen Boonlert said Pitak Siam would send lawyers to help him in his legal case.
The group would also take care of those injured and treated in hospitals.
The Public Health Ministry announced today that a total of 82 people were injured in yesterday's clashes and 22 of them are being treated at the Police Hospital.
Dr Narong Sahamethaphat, the public health permanent secretary, said of the 82 people hurt, 52 were citizens (31 men and 21 women), 29 were police officers and one was a soldier.
Gen Boonlert said the police were unreasonable to use tear gas to disperse the protesters at two different spots. What happened scared away people travelling from other provinces to join the rally. Some were blocked by the authorities on their way to Bangkok.
Seh Ai: I made the right decision.
"I think I made the right decision because if the rally continued into the night there was a chance for violence to occur, such as an M79 grenade being fired into the protesters.
"I did not want to see anyone die. I am already very sad to see people injured," Gen Boonlert said.
He said the obstruction by police to prevent people from moving through Makhawan Rangsan bridge was unusual because this had earlier been agreed on by the authorities.
"The rally was a failure. We could not help the people who were obstructed to show their patriotism. From what happened, nobody would want to pursue my initiative. However, I am still of high spirit.
"I may have lost face and dignity not being able to mobilise as many people as I wanted, but I am proud there was no loss of lives," Seh Ai said.
There were no deaths in yesterday's incidents.
Gen Boonlert said on Monday he woud submit a letter to resign as chairman of the foundation of old students of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School as he did not want to damage the organisation.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters