Thailand ’s government on Feb. 8 decided to invoke the Internal Security Act (ISA) in key areas of Bangkok from Feb. 9-23 to control protests by anti-government groups.

ISA permits the deployment of military troops to support policemen and empowers security forces to detain suspects for questioning for seven days.

The Thai government spokesman, Panitan Wattanayagorn, said ISA will be in place in seven districts, namely Phra Nakorn, Wattana, Pathumwan, Pomprab Sattruphai, Wang Thonglang, Ratchatavee and Dusit.

The enforcement of ISA would help authorities control the situation and ensure security in the areas where the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), known as Yellow Shirt activists, threatens to increase protests.

Over the past two weeks, Yellow Shirt activists have organised marches in the capital city of Bangkok to put pressure on the government’s handling of the border dispute with Cambodia .

PAD supporters recently announced that they would step up protests to overthrow the government and threatened to occupy key areas in Bangkok on Feb. 11 while the parliament discusses the amendment of the Constitution./.