11 July 2024

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will not allow protesters to stay overnight at the Lan Khon Mueang Town Square.

In response to planned rallies in the square by protesters, including the Ratsadon anti-establishment group, from today until November 18th, to coincide with the APEC Summit and related meetings, Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said today (Wednesday) that the square has been set aside as a venue for free expression by members of the public, so they don’t venture onto roads and cause traffic problems.

He said that the city administration has been coordinating with the police over the use of the square, so activities held there can proceed in orderly and peaceful manner, adding that, if activists or protesters leave the square, it would be beyond the authority of the city administration.

The governor also said that the city administration does not intend to allow protesters or activists to stay in the square overnight. He said that he has instructed his security affairs advisors to take charge of overseeing peace and order in the square and ensuring that there is no overnight stay.

Meanwhile, a coalition of non-governmental organisations, known as the CCD-NGO, issued a statement today urging the government to lift the ban on protests in areas around the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and the 19 hotels, at which the APEC leaders and delegates are staying during the Summit.

The NGO network claims that the declaration of the areas as “off-limits” will prevent people from expressing their views and amounts suppression of the freedom of expression.