~Meaw & More~

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Reactive blogger (~and more~)

Post mortem: Airport security law

Airport guards to get power to counter mobs
By: Bangkok Post
Published: 28/01/2009 at 03:39 PM
Security guards employed by Airports of Thailand will be given the authority to detain troublemakers before handing them over to the police.

Tougher safety measures are being considered for all major airports in Thailand after the seizure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang facilities by People’s Alliance for Democracy supporters.

The draft was backed by the Transport Ministry and proposed to the cabinet in an effort to prevent further damaging political protests at the country’s major gateways and improve safety for tourists.

People creating problems within the perimeters of an airport could be forcibly detained by the AoT’s security guards and must be handed over to police within 24 hours.

Fines of up to 10,000 baht could be imposed on people found guilty of causing problems.

The transport minister would take charge of enforcing the new law. The minister will have full authority to issue ministerial regulations on safety measures at the airports and ensure convenience for travellers and staff.

The minister has the right to set up committees to oversee the implementation of the safety measures at the airports.

Acting government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the draft bill would be submitted to the Council of State before being forwarded to parliament for approval. The cabinet did not set a time frame for the passage of the law.

“I think having such a law will bring a measure of confidence. Many more foreigners will soon be travelling here,” Mr Panitan said.

Suvarnabhumi airport deputy director Prateep Vijittho said the planned law would authorise security guards to also crack down on intruders.

Somsak Kosaisuk, a PAD leader, said the planned law could violate basic human rights as it remained unclear how demonstrations would be dealt with.

“Issuing such a law is nonsensical. It’s the wrong solution. In fact, the government should focus more on solving the people’s problems,” Mr Somsak said.

Transport Minister Sopon Zarum said transport authorities had also worked out safety measures, especially for Suvarnabhumi airport. These would include the construction of four permanent checkpoints to screen visitors outside the airport compound.

Well, people would be wondering what to do with the past one and if this is a prevention of retaliation. Anyway, when we have a trip in March, I will be happy to report the general situation of tourist after four months of airport seizure.

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Filed under: Political Sciences

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