15th ASEAN Summit to be held in Cha-am and Hua Hin during Oct 23-25

Leaders of ASEAN countries and ASEAN secretary-general are seen during a photo session of the 14th Summit opening ceremony.

Thailand has decided to hold the 15th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during October 23-25 in two well-known adjoining beach resorts of Cha-am and Hua Hin instead of the island province of Phuket.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Monday told reporters after the meeting among concerned agencies that the 15th ASEAN Summit and related meetings will take place in the seaside towns of Cha-am, Phetchaburi Province, and Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, about 200 kilometres southwest of Bangkok.

The Thai premier also disclosed that his government plans to enforce the Internal Security Act (ISA) around the meeting venues, with Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban overseeing the security matters.

The Thai government earlier planned that the ASEAN meetings would be held in Phuket but realised that it might be inconvenient to hold the meetings on the island province where there will also be the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival during October 17-26 as the necessary security arrangements for the ASEAN meetings could negatively impact tourism festivities during the period of time.

Deputy PM Suthep said he will discuss with the Council of State to review the draft announcement on regulations and the authority of officials under the ISA before sending it to the Cabinet for approval and enforcement.

Earlier this year, Thailand, the Chair of 10-member regional bloc ASEAN, successfully orgainised the 14th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am and Hua Hin during February 27 – March 1 but the three-day ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6 summits in the eastern resort of Pattaya was cancelled half-way when red-shirt protesters broke into the summit venue on April 11, forcing Prime Minister Abhisit to declare a state of emergency in Chonburi Province where Pattaya is located.

During July 17-23, Thailand held the 42th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Post Ministerial Conference with dialogue partners and the 12th ASEAN Regional Forum in Phuket successfully, with the help from the enforcement of ISA.