Thailand’s caretaker government has claimed that it will remain in control during two separate mass rallies to be staged by opponents and supporters on April 5.

The country’s Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said on April 1 that the Internal Security Act (ISA), currently imposed in the capital Bangkok and surrounding areas, will be adequate for the government to monitor the situation and prevent confrontation.

The same day, army chief Prayuth Chanocha stressed that the armed forces are obliged to protect all groups of people, expressing his belief that the rallies will not cause problems.

Earlier, anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban announced a major gathering of protest leaders on April 5 to discuss their next move.

Meanwhile, Aksa Road in Bangkok is expected to be a rally site for the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), also called the “red shirts”.

The Thai Centre for the Administration for Peace and Order (CAPO) predicted that at least 100,000 “red shirt” members will join the upcoming rally while UDD Chairman Jatuporn Prompan estimated that the number may amount to 500,000.-VNA