Thailand’s military on standby in barracks to support the police if needed
Troops from Thailand’s First Army Region have been put on standby in their barracks to provide immediate support to the police, in case they are unable to control the political protests.
The alert was ordered after Lt-Gen Charoenchai Hinthao, Commander of the First Army Region, which covers Bangkok and other central provinces, called an urgent meeting last night with all battalion commanders of the 9th and 11th Infantry Divisions and the 11th Army Circle, at the headquarters of the First Army Region.
Early this morning, some troops were moved into the Government House compound, to reinforce Special Branch police, who had been deployed there before the declaration of the state of emergency in Bangkok by the Prime Minister, which took effect at 4am today.
The opposition Kao Klai party has issued a statement condemning the declaration of a state of emergency in the Thai capital as lacking legitimacy and as being in violation of the rule of law, claiming that the protests have remained peaceful.
“What the people need now is not a special law to ensure the Government’s security, but for the Government to heed the people’s demands to amend the Constitution, to find a new consensus in society, and reform of the Monarchy, to maintain a democratic system with the King as the true head of state,” read the statement.
The party is vowing to protest against the state of emergency and is demanding the immediate resignation of the Prime Minister.