Protesters invade Public Health Ministry to re-erect their anti-corruption banner
March 01, 2014 00:00 By Pongphon Sarnsamak The Nation
People's Democratic Reform Committee protesters yesterday invaded the Public Health Ministry - to find out why a banner calling for a corruption-free government was removed from the building.
PDRC leader Issara Somchai was among the group who demanded to see Kamol Bandaiphet, secretary of caretaker Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong, and deputy permanent secretary Dr Chanvit Tharathep, as they believed they had instructed police to remove the banner.
The banner was erected by the Medical Workers’ Network, which is led by the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahametapat.
Health officials and security guards allowed the protesters to enter the building, but would not allow them to access Kamol and Chanvit’s offices.
Protesters shouted that they had been instructed by Issara to seek an explanation from the duo.
Some ministry staff joined in the protest and blew whistles.
Protesters got access to the roof, re-erected the banner, and after failing to locate Kamol and Chanvit, left the building.
Dr Irawat Areekich, a business owner, said he agreed with the Medical Workers’ Network fight against government corruption but believed it was inappropriate to use government offices and hospitals to express a political stance.
“Every person has the right to express their political stance but it is not so good to use government buildings or hospitals to tell other people about their personal opinion, as there might be other people, including patients, who might not agree with them,” he said. “If they want to express their political stance, they should set up the banners on their cars, homes or personal property.”