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Protesters not “tough enough” – Thai security official

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Thai security agencies are downplaying this weekend’s anti-government student rally, predicting that it will only attract 20,000 people and not the 50,000 predicted by the protest organisers. They’ve also said they’re confident it won’t become violent. The last big rally, early in this phase of opposition demonstrations, was on August 16 and was held at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument. It attracted up to 10,000 people.

“There will be no bloodshed. Security agencies believe that if the protesters plan to camp out, it will last no more than a night and not many people will take part.”

In a niggling response in the lead up to this Saturday’s rally, the security source suggested the current protesters were not “tough enough”.

“It is unlikely that the protesters will be tough enough to camp out for long periods.”

The rally, proposed to be staged at the Thammasat University Tha Prachan campus, is led by the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration.

These key organisers have put themselves in a separate corner than earlier student protest groups who were solely seeking political reform of the current parliament and Thai constitution the UFTD, with Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak as the main spokesperson, were the first to bring up the country’s monarchy in their list of demands, a polarising issue in Thailand.

So security officials believe that the earlier swell of student activism, led by the Free People Group and the Student Federation of Thailand, may not appear at the Thammasat rally on September 21.

Some student group sources have voiced their opinion that “Penguin” is “independent-minded and hard to control”.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue between officials at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus, police and the UFTD organisers for this Saturday’s rally. Last week the University denied permission for the students and other protest groups to hold the event on the grounds of the high-profile university. It’s been speculated that the rally could be moved to the nearby Sanam Luang park, the only other large space in the area suitable for such a large gathering.

The government’s security officials say they’re prepared to handle any influx of ‘up country’ protesters who are travelling to Bangkok to join the anti-government demonstration.

The Thai PM has already made it clear that he wanted police to avoid any violent clashes at all costs. He also asked police not to intervene if the protesters fulfilled their promise to march on Government House at the end of the Thammasat campus rally.

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Road deaths

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News

A well known local DJ died early this morning in a high speed car crash on a Bangkok road bend nicknamed “Curve of 100 Deaths.” Police say his car’s speedometer was found stuck at 200 kilometres per hour.

Police suspect 33 year old Annop Poonsripattana was going around a curve when he lost control of the car due to the slippery road conditions from the rain. His black Toyato Altis was found smashed into an electricity pole around 2:30am today. The impact caused Annop to be flung to the back seat. Police say his skull was shattered and his neck broken.

A security guard at a nearby building says heard an explosion and the electricity cut out. The entire area went black, he says. The so called “Curve of 100 Deaths” is near Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district. The guard says many fatal crashes happen on the road.

“This area is highly prone to road accidents. Just last week a mother and her small child were killed here.”

The Ratchada Road curve so dangerous that locals honk when driving through the curve to show respect and to ask for permission from the spirits of those who have died there for safe passage, according to Coconuts Bangkok. In the past, many people have left offerings like zebra statues in honour of those who died in car incidents while driving on the road.

Annop played music at many entertainment venues in Bangkok. He was also a contestant in the Take Me Out Thailand TV show in 2015. An autopsy is being done at the Police General Hospital. Electricians are working to fix the electricity pole and restore power.

Bangkok DJ dies in high speed crash on notorious ‘death road’ | News by The Thaiger

An event with Annop Poonsripattana.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Coconuts Bangkok

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Road deaths

1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car

Maya Taylor

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1 dead, 2 injured, as out-of-control construction truck ploughs into family car | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

A man has died, and his parents have been injured, after a construction truck lost control and ploughed into their car, crushing the vehicle and killing the 27 year old driver instantly. The Pattaya News reports that the truck also hit 5 other vehicles in the incident, which occurred in the Minburi district of Bangkok.

The truck driver, named as 41 year old Piean Sricharoen, says he was having problems with the truck’s brake booster while travelling from the central province of Saraburi. While attempting to emergency park in the middle lane to check the booster, the truck began to lose its balance, crashing into surrounding vehicles. One witness confirms the account, saying the truck began to sway back and forth before crashing into the victim’s car, crushing the vehicle, and causing a 7 car pile-up.

Emergency workers arrived on the scene and rushed the dead man’s parents to a nearby hospital. The truck driver has been charged with reckless driving causing death and is in police custody.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Bangkok

Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice to motorists to avoid parliament area due to protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakapan Chumchuen / Flickr

Bangkok motorists would do well to avoid the roads around the Sappaya-Sapasathan building later today, with a political rally set to take place there this afternoon. That’s the word from officials, who have issued guidance to motorists ahead of the protest in front of the new parliament building, expected to kick off at 2pm and continue late into the evening.

According to a report in Nation Thailand today, the Metropolitan Police Bureau are advising drivers to avoid Kiak Kai Road, in front of the parliament building, as well as a number of other roads in the vicinity.

“On Thursday afternoon, the Free Youth group will hold a political rally in front of Parliament, where a meeting to amend the constitution is taking place. We expect the rally to start at 2pm and last until 10pm.”

MPB chief Pakkapong Pongpetra adds that the following roads are also best avoided:

• Samsen Road (from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Kiak Kai intersection)
• Pracharat Sai 1 Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Bang Pho intersection)
• Thaharn Road (from Kiak Kai intersection to Saphan Daeng intersection)

Nation Thailand reports that drivers who need to get from Bang Kra Beu intersection to Bang Pho intersection are advised to take Amnuay Songkram Road, to Rama V Road, Techa Wanich Road, Pracharat Sai 2 Road, and finally Bang Pho intersection.

Pakkapong says officials are not expecting any trouble at today’s rally. The rally was announced last Sunday by protesters at the weekend demonstration held around the grounds of the Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus and the adjacent Sanam Luang royal parade grounds. The weekend protests attracted around 30,000 people.

“Protest leaders have asked Parliament for permission to hold the rally and have promised to obey the law and not block public roads. The MPB expects the rally to end peacefully, when the meeting concludes at 10pm.”

Despite officials’ confidence that the rally will pass off without incident, security has been tightened around the building. Additional police officers are being drafted in, as well as a security patrol along the Chao Phraya River, and an evacuation helicopter in the event senior parliamentarians need to make a swift getaway.

Meanwhile, motorists in need of further traffic information or roadside assistance can visit www.trafficpolice.go.th or call 1197.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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