The Internal Security Act is another legal mechanism employed by the Government to tackle protests by the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) on 30 August.
Although the group has decided to postpone its major gathering due to the enforcement of law, there has been no movement from the Government regarding whether the law will be lifted in Bangkok’s Dusit district where the rally was previously expected to take place.
The Government decided to use the Internal Security Act to control the UDD protests due to 2 main reasons: it was concerned that a third party might create violence, and that there was an element of unpredictability about the protests.
Generally, there are 2 laws used by the Government to deal with protesters–the Emergency Decree and the Internal Security Act. As for the differences between them, the first law is deemed more draconian because it protects authorities from lawsuits and the Prime Minister has the power to use the law immediately if sees fit.
On the contrary, the Internal Security Act must be approved by the Cabinet before it is enforced with a clear implementation plan and the Government is required to inform Parliament of the outcome of the law enforcement. Both the Emergency Decree and the Internal Security Act can only be used in line with the crowd-control law.
The Government reasoned that it opted for the Internal Security Act to deal with the UDD protests as this law would more facilitate authorities in their operations.
In terms of economy, the Government believes that the use of an Internal Security Act to control the rally will help assure the general public and private sector of security after the UDD’s riots in Bangkok in April this year. The Government is also confident that the law will not affect investment and economic atmospheres.
Against the backdrop of criticisms of the use of the Internal Security Act against the UDD protesters, the Government has continued informing the public of the necessity of the law in order to make them see that the Internal Security Act is the best choice for the current situation.