Heavy security for Southeast Asian summit in Thailand

Thousands of Thai security forces guarded the beachside venue of a major Southeast Asian summit on Thursday, as protesters kept up a vigil outside the seat of government in the capital.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Feb 26, 2009 11:41 AM IST
Copy Link
AFP | By, Hua Hin, Thailand

Thousands of Thai security forces guarded the beachside venue of a major Southeast Asian summit on Thursday, as protesters kept up a vigil outside the seat of government in the capital.

Police with sniffer dogs guarded the Dusit Hotel in the resort town of Hua Hin, where ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will arrive later in the day for informal meetings.

Regional leaders will fly in on Friday for the formal summit which takes place at the weekend, and bomb squad units were scouring the town 180 kilometres (110 miles) south of Bangkok ahead of their arrival.

In the capital, red-shirted anti-government protesters rallied for a third day outside Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's office to demand new elections, but officials said there was no threat to the summit.

"Police have deployed 5,700 officers to provide high security for the summit," deputy national police chief General Virote Paholvej told reporters.

"We are now 100 percent ready and confident the meeting will run smoothly. Our intelligence reports say there has been no movement of red-shirts or of protesters from any international groups," he said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat played down the Bangkok demonstrations, saying that "no one (from ASEAN) has been asking Thailand about the protests at Government House."

Months of protests against the previous government, peaking with the occupation of Bangkok's airports late last year, forced Thailand to postpone the summit from its original date in December.

That government, linked to ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, was toppled by a court ruling, allowing Abhisit to take power and angering the pro-Thaksin "red-shirts".

The current meeting in Hua Hin is a watered-down version with key regional partners including China and Japan saying they were unable to attend.

ASEAN leaders are expected to focus on protecting the export-driven region of nearly 600 million people from the global financial crisis.

They will also discuss the formation of a regional human rights body but isues such as repression in military-ruled Myanmar are expected to take a back seat to the economy.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A man clears debris from a driveway near a bus inundated by floodwaters on a residential street, following heavy rains and severe flooding in the McGraths Hill suburb of Sydney, on July 6, 2022. 

    Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney

    Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia's largest city. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said.

  • Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, foreground and Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak take part in a cabinet meeting.

    ‘Will have to drag him kicking and screaming': UK PM Boris Johnson on the brink

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face questions in parliament followed by a grilling by senior lawmakers on Wednesday, with his premiership on the brink after a slew of resignations from ministers saying he was not fit to govern. A growing number of lawmakers in his ruling Conservative Party have said the game is up for Johnson.

  • Rishi Sunak reacts as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London.

    ‘Cannot continue like this’: What Rishi Sunak said as he quit Johnson cabinet

    British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and health secretary Sajid Javid quit the government on Tuesday amid mounting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson for appointing a tarnished member of the Parliament to a key government position.

  • Robert E Crimo was arrested hours after Illinois was gripped by shock and horror. 

    US July 4 parade shooting suspect charged with seven murder counts

    A 21-year-old man who allegedly opened fire on a July 4 parade in a wealthy Chicago suburb while disguised in women's clothing was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder on Tuesday, prosecutors said. Robert Crimo, 21, was arrested on Monday, several hours after the attack on a festive Independence Day crowd. More than 35 people were injured.

  • UN, US urge probe into deadly Uzbekistan unrest

    UN, US urge probe into deadly Uzbekistan unrest

    UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet and the United States both called Tuesday for a swift investigation into the deadly clashes at mass protests in Uzbekistan. Authorities in Uzbekistan said Monday that 18 people had died in clashes in the autonomous Karakalpakstan region on Friday after demonstrations erupted over planned constitutional changes affecting the territory's status. The United States separately voiced concern and urged all sides to seek a "peaceful resolution" to the tensions.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022