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Bangkok on rally alert
Publication Date : 24-11-2012
Bangkok is bracing for the biggest anti-government protest of the Yingluck Shinawatra era.
The government and provincial authorities appeared to be employing various means to prevent people from the provinces and Bangkok residents from joining today's rally at the Royal Plaza.
Amid warnings of violence and the possible use of force by police, many police checkpoints have been set up along the main roads that lead to Bangkok.
Provincial governors have been instructed by the government to attempt to discourage people under their administration from joining the protest, which is being organised by the Pitak Siam group.
Phang-nga Governor Thamrong Charoenkul said yesterday that he had received an order from the government to keep an eye on local supporters of the anti-government movement.
The local authorities attempted to persuade those people not to join the Bangkok rally, adding that checkpoints were set up in all districts of the southern province, he said.
The governor said he expected fewer than 100 people from Phang-nga to take part in today's rally in Bangkok.
Retired Lt-General Nanthadej Meksawat, one of the rally organisers, said yesterday that prospective protesters from the provinces had been blocked from leaving their villages.
"Governors and district chiefs in every province were told to block as many prospective protesters as possible. The order was passed down to the village heads," he said.