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    Police pledge safe Songkran

    Police pledge safe Songkran

    Police on Saturday promised extra vigilance to ensure safety in Bangkok and in the lower South during the Songkran holidays.
    National police chief Pol-Gen Priewpan Damapong said officers had readied plans to prevent terrorism and insurgency in the southern border provinces plus Songkhla, especially during the Songkran Festival.

    The measures include security checkpoints at 46 locations across Songkhla, the southern economic hub, and all gateways to and from Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani to screen vehicles for weapons and explosive devices.

    Police will also establish seven "safety zones" in Buddhist-Thai communities across Songkhla that might be targeted by separatist Islamic militants, Pol-Gen Priewpan said. He did not elaborate on the zones' locations.

    Vehicles entering the safety zone are given a thorough inspection and one-way traffic is often enforced on some major roads.

    Deputy Prime Minister Yutthasak Sasiprapa early this week proposed reviving and seriously enforcing the safety zone policy in major southern economic areas. The idea has been tried before but with limited success because some business operators complained that their businesses were affected and asked authorities to revoke the measures.

    Pol-Gen Priewpan said people living outside safety zone communities would be asked to park their cars in places provided by authorities as part of an effort to prevent car bomb attacks. If they proved successful, the security measures used for Songkhla would be expanded to cover the three southern border provinces.

    The national police chief said he would visit the South again next week to inspect police officers' readiness to provide safety.

    Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, speaking yesterday on her weekly TV talk show, said that closed-circuit TV camera systems in Songkhla, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat would be linked to police stations to help officers closely monitor events.

    She said the government had deployed more police in the region and that they would work with soldiers to provide more stringent security measures to ensure the safety of the people.

    More doctors and nurses have also been sent to Hat Yai and Yala to help provide medical treatment for more than 400 people injured by last Saturday's bomb attacks, Ms Yingluck said. Three explosions in the commercial heart of Yala killed 11 people and a car bomb at the Lee Gardens Plaza hotel and shopping mall in Hat Yai killed three.

    Army Region 4 commander Lt Gen Udomchai Thammasaroratch said the security alert in the far South had been raised to the highest level for the coming Songkran festival.

    Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Winai Thongsong expressed his confidence that there would not be any terrorist attack in Bangkok during Songkran. He urged the public not to panic over fears that separatist militants may target the capital following last weekend's incident in Hat Yai.

    Pol Lt Gen Winai said the Bureau had instructed all its units to tighten security in their jurisdictions including Khao San Road and Silom Road. Police intelligence reports showed that possible sabotage in the city was not a concern so far, he added.


    BANGKOK POST

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    Re: Police pledge safe Songkran

    Khao San ready for a splash
    Published: 6/04/2012 at 11:22 PMOnline news: Local News

    Businesses on Khao San Road expect Songkran celebrations in Bangkok's budget tourist hub to be bigger than last year, while promising extra vigilance to ensure safety.

    The Songkran Festival will be held between April 12 and 15, said Piyabutr Piyabutr Jiwaramonaikun, chairman of the Association of Khao San Traders.

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