11 July 2024

Bangkok police have warned this Saturday’s protesters not to trespass on Sanam Luang. Pol Maj-Gen Somprasong Yenthuam, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said today (Tuesday) that Sanam Luang, a spacious area used for Royal ceremonies, has been registered as an archaeological site since 2012 and any unapproved use of the land is illegal.

Since there are many other government buildings on the route from Thammasat University to Government House, he also warned protesters not to trespass on any of those premises.

The Deputy Commissioner maintained that neither the police nor the Government intend to intimidate or harass law-abiding citizens in any way, but will deal with violations of the law accordingly.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau, which is in charge of law and order in Bangkok, will deploy anti-riot police at Thammasat University, Sanam Luang and Government House in preparation for the planned march by the protesters, from Tha Prachan campus to Government House.

Although university administrators have forbidden the students to use the campus for their protest this Saturday, unless they comply with certain conditions, the protest leaders have vowed to press ahead regardless, claiming that they have already sought permission and have the consent of an advisory lecturer.

The university administrators are caught in the middle of the opposing groups, with one side against use of the campus by the protesters and the other demanding that the administrators revoke the conditional ban.

The two camps have been lobbying support among university alumni and outsiders.
Mr. Kaewsan Atibhodi, former vice rector of the university, led a group of alumni to the university’s Dome Building to offer moral support to the rector in support of the decision to deny the protesters the use of the campus on Saturday.

The other group, led by Mr. Panas Tassaneeyanont, former dean of the Faculty of Law, submitted a letter to the rector, demanding that the university administrators reconsider their conditional ban.

In the meantime, the Progressive Movement, led by former Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and secretary-general Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, have launched a campaign urging members of the public to join the protest.