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Chadchart to trial Bangkok protest areas for one month


Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Sunday his move to provide seven venues for public protest in the city would be trialled for the next month and then evaluated.

The new city chief admitted he was concerned about possible trouble on Friday, the first day protesters were allowed to use the seven areas.

“Personally, I felt worried and kept my fingers crossed that nothing would happen. Anyway, we have security cameras to monitor the situations,” Chadchart said.

He said he had visited the Lan Khon Muang town square in front of the first Bangkok Metropolitan Administration hall on Friday to observe a demonstration there.

“The BMA providing venues for protesters to demonstrate is a historical move. The situation went well and we screened the areas and participants for weapons so we felt safe,” Chadchart said.

The policy to grant areas for protest showed mutual respect between demonstrators and the authorities, he added.

Chadchart to trial Bangkok protest areas for one month Meanwhile, the size of protests at each venue had so far stayed within the set limits, so had not violated the Covid-19 emergency decree, said the governor.

The seven areas of the city decreed as protest grounds are Lan Khon Muang in Phra Nakhon district, Bangkok Youth Centre in Din Daeng, the area under the Ratchavipha Bridge in Chatuchak, the parking lot at Phra Khanong district office, the 72nd Anniversary Stadium in Min Buri district, the Chalermphrakiat sports centre in Thung Khru, and Monton Pirom Park in Taling Chan district.

Chadchart said he also met with a group of activists at the private Suan Kru Angoon Park in a bid to understand their complaints.

“We must get close to them before we can take care of them,” he explained. “After talking to them, I think everything will be easier. I believe Thais can live together with an accommodating attitude.”

He acknowledged that some people disagreed with his policy but asked for time to see whether it worked.

Chadchart to trial Bangkok protest areas for one month The policy was included in Chadchart’s election campaign and passed on Thursday after months of violent clashes between the anti-government Thalugaz group and police at Din Daeng intersection.

“Let me try it for a month,’ he said, adding that it was normal for people to have different views as long as they don’t quarrel and fight.

Published : June 26, 2022

By : THE NATION