Tense standoff between protesters and police over Pak Bara deep-sea port

national March 16, 2017 14:17

By Pratch Rujivanarom
The Nation

There had been no end to the standoff between authorities and protesters at Ban Pakbang School in Satun’s Langu district by Thursday afternoon after the first public hearing on the proposed Pak Bara deep-sea port project was scrapped due to a stalemate in demands.

Hundreds of police officers, led by the Satun Provincial Internal Security Operations Command, marched into Ban Pakbang School on Thursday morning to tell some 300 protesters to leave the school so the forum could proceed.

However, the operation ended in a tense situation and there was minor clash between both sides.

By early Thursday afternoon, the protesting groups had not budged and were still being monitor by police.

Satun Provincial Internal Security Operations Command head Maj-General Jetthapat Sriwong said authorities were neutral in the matter and asked the Marine Department, the project owner, and protesters to hold a meeting between 10 representatives from each side to find a solution to the conflict and discuss staging the public hearing.

But protest leader Somboon Khamhang said protesters did not accept authorities’ terms and wanted everyone to withdraw from the area to prevent more clashes and discuss the matter later.

Also present at the school were people who said they wanted to attend the forum and had gathered with police outside the school.

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