Laos plans for influx of foreign supporters for 25th SEA Games

Posted by samakomlao Sunday, September 6, 2009

Organisers plan for influx of foreign supporters

Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad has said the Ministry of Public Security must be ready to protect the thousands of spectators who will come from Vietnam and Thailand to cheer on their teams at the SEA Games.

Standing Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad.

“This may seem to be a small matter, but we should give it careful consideration because when teams reach the final rounds their supporters will be here to spur them on,” said Mr Somsavat, who is Chairman of the SEA Games Organising Committee.

At a meeting of the committee held at the Prime Minister's Office on Friday, he pointed out that if Thailand and Vietnam play in the football final, some 10,000 people from both countries may converge on Laos . This would be challenging to security officials, who must ensure their safety and make sure they were provided with suitable facilities.

“This is something new for us and those responsible should pay close attention to the matter,” he said.

Mr Somsavat said Cambodian athletes and their supporters would also be coming here by car, entering Laos in the south.

“They've already confirmed they will come, so the security sector should cooperate with others involved and provide them with security along the route to Vientiane .”

Mr Somsavat said it would be very challenging to provide full security and attend to the needs of such large numbers of visitors all at the same time, and a sound plan was needed to address the problem.

“I think we should ask neighbouring countries how many people and vehicles will be coming to Laos and request them to send specific information as well as make sure all the necessary documentation is prepared in good time,” he said.

During the meeting, the SEA Games Organising Committee reported on the progress made by the various sectors involved. Members also commented on various problems they were encountering in their preparations for the games and were given advice by Mr Somsavat.

Mr Somsavat also agreed to the construction of an emergency helicopter landing pad at the National Stadium. He advised the sectors involved to work with the Ministry of National Defence to locate a suitable area for the landing pad and expedite construction.

The meeting also announced that the Vientiane Mayor would be in charge of all aspects of security in Vientiane before and during the games.

“All security matters will be controlled by the Mayor because he is assigned by the Party Central Committee to be the president of all public and national security in Vientiane so this should be controlled by him,” Mr Somsavat said.

Mr Somsavat also gave advice on many outstanding jobs the various sub-committees still had to do, asking them to finish the work and report to him at the next meeting, to be held at the end of this month.

He also asked them to plan for other events related to the games during September.

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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