SECURITY has been tightened and traffic controls put in place in Bangkok ahead of Pope Francis’s arrival tomorrow for a four-day visit.
Deputy national police chief Suwat Chaengyodsukby said 6,500 police personnel will be deployed in the capital and Nakhon Pathom, and that security preparations are complete for the Papal visit.
“People entering the venues (where Pope Francis will appear) will have to pass through security screening points,” said Suwat.
The Bangkok Post quoted the Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Jirasan Kaewsaeng-ek as saying that some roads will be closed to traffic during the Pope’s arrival tomorrow and during his departure on Saturday.
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.
Pope Francis will head to Japan after his visit here.
In video messages to the people of the two Buddhist-majority nations posted in the Vatican website ahead of the trip, the Pope lauded peace and stressed the need to eliminate nuclear weapons.
He also praised Thailand for its dedication to harmony and peaceful coexistence, and that he wants to strengthen the bonds of friendship that Catholics share with many Buddhist brothers and sisters.
"Together with you, I pray that the destructive power of nuclear weapons will never be unleashed again in human history. The use of nuclear weapons is immoral,” the Pope said in his message to the Japanese people.