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Apec protesters warned to stay away

BANGKOK: Police have warned protest groups not to cause disturbances during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit later this week and remain at a designated protest site.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 16 November 2022, 10:24AM

Armed officers stand guard in the middle of a blocked section of road near the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, the venue of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Armed officers stand guard in the middle of a blocked section of road near the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, the venue of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Somchai Poomlard

Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, the Royal Thai Police spokesman, said some groups have asked the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) for permission to hold gatherings at the Lan Khon Muang square near City Hall from today until Friday (Nov 18).

“They were asked to restrict their activities to the designated rally site and not to disrupt the summit,” said Pol Maj Gen Archayon, who also serves as a spokesman for a joint command centre set up to monitor security during the summit.

Anyone who wants to file complaints during the summit can do so at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which will relay their grievances to relevant agencies, the Bangkok Post reports him as saying.

He also said some Apec leaders and delegates will arrive ahead of the summit due to take place Friday and Saturday.

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, in his capacity as deputy chief of the joint command, yesterday met representatives of the armed forces, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Public Health Ministry as well as other agencies to coordinate efforts to ensure the Apec summit proceeds smoothly, Pol Maj Gen Archayon said.

He said people living or working in areas declared off-limits to traffic will be given until Saturday to register with the police to receive permission to access the roads during the summit.

Road closures took effect around the clock from today to Saturday on Ratchadaphisek Road between the Asok Montri and Rama IV-Klong Toey intersections and on Duangphitak Road.

Workers delivering goods and mail to people in those areas can seek permission from police officers at relevant checkpoints to gain access to the roads, Pol Maj Gen Archayon said.

Shuttle buses will also be available for people living and working in and around the area.

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Pol Maj Gen Archayon said the joint command will monitor the summit closely and people have been urged to watch out for anything suspicious and alert authorities by calling 191 or 1599.

Navy chief Adm Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said the navy’s U-tapao airport in Rayong will be among several airports used to welcome foreign leaders flying in to attend the summit.

The navy has also been assigned to ensure security for Apec leaders and delegates staying at hotels along the Chao Phraya River, he said.

Security measures are now in place for the navy’s convention hall on the banks of the Chao Phraya to serve as a venue for a gala dinner for Apec leaders tomorrow, Adm Choengchai said.

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Monday admitted he was concerned about the planned demonstrations during the summit.

He said police had asked the BMA to set aside an area for demonstrators for security and traffic management reasons.

The BMA will make the Lan Khon Muang square available for any political gatherings during the summit, Mr Chadchart said. He said the Ratsadon, Tha Lu Fa and Phai Daodin protest groups have sought permission to hold demonstrations until Friday, adding they have been asked to limit their activities to the designated site.

A security source said the group calling itself “Citizens Stop Apec 2022” led by political activist Somyot Prueksakasemsuk will hold a gathering at Asok intersection tomorrow and proceed to the Queen Sirikit Convention Center, the summit venue, to hand letters to Apec leaders.

The group handed petition letters to the Canadian, Australian, French, New Zealand, and US embassies yesterday to relay their messages to Apec leaders attending the summit in Bangkok. In the letter, the group accuses the government of human rights violations and demanded Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resign, among several demands.

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DeKaaskopp | 19 November 2022 - 15:33:28

@JohnC   Read the article !  Protesters were allowed to express their thoughts at designated areas ! Do you think in your country the police would roll out a red carpet to invite demonstrators to interrupt a summit of this size ?

JohnC | 19 November 2022 - 09:34:31

Human rights and being democratic are not in the charter of military dictatorships. Surpress free thinking at all costs and keep them trampled under foot. Power is all they care about.

DeKaaskopp | 18 November 2022 - 12:33:24

@Kurt As in every other country where a summit is held with the participation of many head of the states there will be  very tight security measures. And no country would allow any demonstration being held near that location. So all your democratic talk is nonsense.

Jor12 | 17 November 2022 - 17:42:00

Kurt...It's called "protection" mandated by the UN charter.

Kurt | 17 November 2022 - 09:01:44

The Thai army stand by with tanks, amoured cars, the Thai navy with gun boats on the river against Thai demonstrators. Great show of  a non democratic government against own Thai demonstrators. Why are they always afraid of their own people?


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