Aug 02, 2013

    Headed to Bangkok? Avoid large crowds

    SINGAPOREANS travelling to Bangkok should stay away from large crowds and demonstrations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) advised in a statement yesterday.

    Anticipating protests ahead of a House debate on an amnesty Bill, the Thai Cabinet invoked the Internal Security Act (ISA) in three Bangkok districts on Wednesday.

    Protesters are expected to rally in three districts - Dusit, Phra Nakhon and Pom Prab Satruphai - where key political institutions such as Government House and Parliament are located, The Nation reported yesterday.

    The ISA, which gives the authorities greater power to control crowds and search for weapons, will be in force until next Saturday.

    Thai police will monitor the situation round the clock to prevent any clashes between supporters and opponents of the Bill, National Security Council secretary-general Lieutenant-General Paradorn Pattanatabutr said.

    The House debate on the amnesty Bill proposed by a group of ruling Pheu Thai MPs is scheduled for Wednesday, according to Pheu Thai MP Amnuay Klangpha.

    The Bill would exonerate protesters from both sides for their roles in demonstrations stretching from the coup in 2006 to May 10, 2011, but it faces opposition from the Democrat Party.

    The MFA said travellers should monitor local news and developments, and take precautions for personal safety. Singaporeans are encouraged to register online with the ministry at