November 22-30, 2012
BANGKOK, Nov 22, 2012 (AFP) - Thailand on Thursday invoked a special security law to cope with a political rally this weekend in Bangkok, the scene of several outbreaks of violent unrest in recent years.
Police expect tens of thousands of people to attend Saturday's rally at the Royal Plaza. The demo is organised by the royalist group Pitak Siam, which opposes Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government.
The Internal Security Act (ISA) will be enforced in three districts of the capital's historic quarter for nine days, officials said after the cabinet approved the measure.
"Based on our intelligence, the rally will be intense with a huge turnout of protesters," National Security Council chief Paradorn Pattanatabut told reporters.
The security law enables the government to prevent the use of certain routes or vehicles, impose a curfew, ban gatherings, carry out searches of buildings and censor the media.
Nearly 17,000 police will be deployed for the demo, according to officials.
Politically turbulent Thailand has been rocked by a series of sometimes violent rival street protests in recent years, although an uneasy calm has returned after national elections in 2011.
Two months of mass opposition protests in 2010 by "Red Shirt" supporters of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra sparked a deadly military crackdown that left about 90 people dead and nearly 1,900 wounded.
No prosecutions have been made over the unrest, which happened under a previous establishment-backed government that was swept from power last year by allies of Thaksin, whose sister Yingluck is now prime minister.
The organisers said they expected at least 500,000 protesters to attend, although the authorities estimate about 40,000-50,000 will turn out.
"This government ignores widespread disrespect of the monarchy and even supports the perpetrators. It is a puppet of Thaksin," said Pitak Siam spokesman Vachara Riddhagni.
Thaksin, who made billions as a telecoms tycoon, is adored by many poor Thais for his populist policies while in power, but reviled by many in elite, military and palace circles who see him as authoritarian and a threat to the monarchy.
Observers say prosecutions for insulting the monarchy have surged since royalist generals toppled Thaksin in a coup in 2006. Many of those targeted are linked to the Red Shirt movement.
Lunch at Next2 in the ShangriLa Hotel.
PS: Girl on building: 300mm vs. 14mm.
Can you find this 300mm sign in a 14mm field?
How about finding the top of this building...again, 300mm versus 14mm.
It's another 300mm vs. 14mm question. Can you find the 'pie' building?
Can you find this 300mm condo porch using the 14mm eye? This is a hard one.
Can you find this construction site in the 14mm field?
Can you find this car advertisement in the big picture? It can't get any easier.
On Tuesday Watcharee and I went to the Shangri-La Hotel to witness Loi Krathong. We spent two nights there in one of the nicest suites that I have ever seen. Besides a large living room we had a bedroom with a sitting lounge, a bathroom with a view and even a small writing desk near the front door. Oh, and a cool hallway with a make-up desk next to the bathroom. AND, 4 TV sets ... one even in the bathroom.
Not only is the Shangri-La pretty grand from both its suites and its outside skin ... but, the daytime view from our 21st floor was just as magnificent. The way our corner suite was positioned we had direct straight-ahead peeks in several river front directions.