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Tight security for arrival of Pope Francis in Thailand

Pope Francis waves upon his arrival for the weekly general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on Wednesday. (AP photo). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

BANGKOK, Nov 19, 2019, Bangkok Post. Tight security and traffic controls have been put in place for the 4-day visit by Pope Francis from Wednesday, with 6,500 police to be deployed in Bangkok and Nakhon Pathom. Deputy national police chief Suwat Chaengyodsuk said on Tuesday that security preparations were complete for the papal visit, Bangkok Post reported.

About 6,500 police would be deployed to beef up security for Pope Francis and people gathering to welcome him. People entering the venues would have to pass through security screening points, Pol Gen Suwat said.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Jirasan Kaewsaeng-ek said some roads would be closed to traffic during the pope’s arrival and during his departure – from 12.30pm to 1pm on Nov 20, and from 8.30am to 9am on Nov 23.

This will affect the Don Muang Tollway, Din Daeng and Rama IV expressways and Rama IV and Sathon roads.

Security will also be tight on Thursday and Friday, when Pope Francis will visit eight venues – one in Nakhon Pathom and seven in Bangkok – Government House, St Louise Hospital, Ambara Villa, Wat Rachabophit, the National Stadium, Chulalongkorn University and the Cathedral of the Assumption in Bang Rak district.

Pol Maj Gen Jirasan said motorists should stay clear of Rama I, Phaya Thai and Banthat Thong roads, although road closures will last not more than 10 minutes in each spot as the pope and the motorcade pass.

Drivers are advised to instead use Silom, Ratchadamri, Sukhumvit, Ratchaprarop, Ploenchit, Phetchaburi, Rama VI, Sri Ayutthaya, Lan Luang, Yaowarat, Chaturathit and Chakkrawat roads.

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