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UPDATE: Protesters flip the location of today’s protest. Counter protests planned.

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Protesters flip the location of today’s protest. Counter protests planned. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: VOA News
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UPDATE: The protesters have moved the location of today’s protests to the the headquarters of SCB (Siam Commercial Bank). SCB is a Thai bank that was set up under the auspices of the Crown Property Bureau. Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the largest single shareholder, owning 23.35% of SCB shares.

ORIGINAL STORY: Stay away. That’s the orders from police as protesters are set to rally outside the Crown Property Bureau. Demonstrators will be required to stay at least 150 metres away from the building in Phitsanulok Road. It is the first protest to put the issues of HM the King’s wealth, and the role of the Thai Monarch in the Thai constitution, front and centre as the main focus.

A record 6,000 police have been mobilised to handle the expected large crowd. Additional police have been shipped in from the provinces to bolster security for today’s rally. They will be enforcing the “public assembly law” and require protesters to stay at least 150 metres away from the symbolic buildings. Army re-inforcements are also on hand, according to an Army spokesperson.

Last week the Thai PM said the government and police would use the “full force of the law” to arrest and charge protesters if they transgressed, including the country’s else majesty laws. The latter seems an almost certain outcome of today’s protests. The list of the protester’s demands – for the Thai PM to resign, the dissolution of the government, a new constitution and reform of the role of the Thai Monarch – are at odds with the Thai “establishment”, the conservative Prayut government and Army.

Police have already secured the area, blocking off entry to the Crown Property Bureau. 8 days ago there were ugly scene outside the Thai Parliament when police clashed with anti-government protesters who were trying to get to the front of the building to conduct their protest. A smaller gathering of pro-government/royalist protesters were also conducting a rally earlier in the day.

Mid afternoon, the police retreated after the anti-government protesters stormed their barricades, despite the police turning water cannons and tear gas on them, allowing the two factions to go at each other for a short time, hurling objects including bricks and rocks at each other. There were also live rounds fired at pro-democracy demonstrators – police say they’re still investigating the circumstances of the firing of guns during the melee.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon also warned royalists groups to avoid mounting a counter-demonstration against the planned anti-government rally yesterday.

“Authorities will ensure there is no confrontation between the two rival groups. Police have been instructed to keep an eye on so-called third-party activists who might try to instigate violence.”

The young, tech-savvy anti-government protesters have shown their capacity to change their plans and locations at extremely short notice with the use of encrypted messaging that has thwarted attempts by Thai police to second-guess the plans of the protest groups.

A deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police said yesterday that neither the Ratsadon (People’s Movement) or the Free Youth group had approached police seeking permission to hold today’s rally.

“While the right to hold rallies was guaranteed by the constitution, demonstrators must adhere to the public assembly law by asking for police approval at least 24 hours in advance. Their rallies must also be peaceful and not infringe on others’ rights.”

Nearby Saint Gabriel’s College, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University and Suan Dusit University are closed today because the planned demonstration and roads around the CPB will be closed to traffic. Classes will resume tomorrow.

According to the Bangkok Post, a new group, Siam Land, announced yesterday that they will mount a counter rally at the CPB to “stop the Free Youth protesters from going there”.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fabian

    Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 11:58 am

    It’s getting more embarrassing for the dinosaurs day by day.

    The yellow shirt, who have shown their violence lately, are gathering in front of the parliament. No obstructions there.

    The pro democracy, who have not shown to be a big violent threat so far to other people, were going to the Crown Property Bureau. Completely obstructed with containers.

    And they anticipated well, changing their location. Dinosaurs losing their big dino faces.

    • Avatar

      Aussie

      Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      Poor dinosaurs and the keystone cops have been outsmarted yet again. How embarrassing for the buffoons. But you gotta love it.

  2. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    The protesters grow stronger and wiser by the day we support you in thexwedtern world and your battles are making headline on all western news channels your fight is not in vain quite the opposite it is changing your country for the better the world is slowly ridding itself of dictators because of brave people like yourselfs i so wish i could be thier standing strong among you all

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Bangkok

Police raid Bangkok restaurant, more than 80 people face charges for violating Emergency Decree

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police raid Bangkok restaurant, more than 80 people face charges for violating Emergency Decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

More than 80 people face jail time and fines for allegedly violating disease control measures under the Emergency Decree after police raided a Bangkok pub and restaurant.

The Indian restaurant Taj Café off Sukhumvit Road in the Watthana district was raided over the weekend after a complaint reporting that customers were smoking hookah, which is illegal in Thailand, and that the venue employed undocumented migrants.

Under an order from Bangkok City Hall, bars and pubs must close until further notice to help control the spread of Covid-19 while restaurants cannot serve alcohol and must stop dine-in services at 9pm to reduce gathering.

Officers from both immigration and the Lumpini police station raided the Indian Restaurant at 1:10am Saturday. Police say the venue was crowded, no one was social distancing and customers were not wearing face masks.

Pattaya News reports more than 80 people were arrested, while the Bangkok Post reports 65 people were arrested.

According to the Pattaya News, 42 people each face a month in jail and a 5,000 baht fine. Another 40 people, who were foreigners from Nigeria, India, Somalia and Myanmar, face between 4 months to a year in jail as well as fines ranging from 5,000 baht to 16,000 baht, according to the Pattaya News. Police say many of the foreigners violated both the Emergency Decree and the Immigration Act.

The Bangkok Post says the manager of the restaurant, 28 year old Mamdeep Singh, was charged with working without a permit, offering hookah to customers and violating both the Emergency Decree and City Hall order.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Pattaya News

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Air Pollution

59 areas see excessive PM 2.5 dust in Bangkok today

The Thaiger

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59 areas see excessive PM 2.5 dust in Bangkok today | The Thaiger

59 areas in Bangkok are seeing excessive PM 2.5 dust ratings today as air quality is being described as moderate to poor. Din Daeng Road is being identified as the most polluted, according to the air4thai website of the Pollution Control Department. The amount of PM 2.5 dust is being measured at between 39 and 113 microns.

Din Daeng is also joining Bang Na-Trat highway in Bang Na district, Lat Phrao district and Sukhapibaan 5 Road in Sai Mai district in featuring PM10 dust in the atmosphere that is measuring between 54 and 155 microns.

Read more about Bangkok’s pollution today, and its causes, HERE.

The 59 areas that are considered polluted today are:

Hirunrujee sub-district, Thon Buri district

Kanchanapisek Road in Bang Khun Thian district

Bang Na sub-district

Song Khanong sub-district in Phra Pradaeng district

Din Daeng sub-district, Din Daeng district

Talat Kwan sub-district in Muang district of Nonthaburi

Omnoi sub-district in Krathumban district of Samut Sakhon

Paknam sub-district in Muang district of Samut Prakan

Bang Sao Thong sub-district

Khlong 1 sub-district in Khlong Luang district of Pathum Thani

Rama 4 Road in Pathumwan district

Intharapitak Road in Thon Buri district

Lat Phrao Road in Wang Thong Lang district

Din Daeng Road in Din Daeng district

Khlong Goom sub-district

Khlong Sam Wa district

Chom Thong district

Charunsanitwong Road in Bang Phlad district

Rama 2 Road in Bang Khun Thian district

Vibhavadi Rangsit highway in Din Daeng district

Sukhumvit Road in Phra Khanong district

Ratburana Road in Ratburana district

Rama 5 Road in Dusit district

Trimitr Road at Wongwian Odeon, Samphanthawong district

Rama 6 Road in Phya Thai district

Lat Phrao Road at Soi Lat Phrao 95 in Wang Thong Lang district

Rama 4 Road in front of Sam Yan Mitrtown, Pathumwan district

Narathiwat Road in Bang Rak district

Thung Wat Don sub-district

Rama 3-Charoen Krung Road in Bang Khor Laem district

Sukhumvit Road Soi 63 in Wattana district

Pattanakarn Road in Suan Luang district

Bang Na-Trat highway in Bang Na district

Pahonyothin Road at Kasetsart intersection, Chatuchak district

Don Mueang district

Sukhapibaan 5 Road in Sai Mai district

Nawamin Road in Bang Kapi district

Suan Sayam-Raminthra intersection in Kanna Yao district

Lat Krabang Road in Lat Krabang district

Seehaburanakit Road in Min Buri district

Liab Waree Road in Nong Chok district

Srinakharin Road in Prawet district

Ratchadapisek-Tha Phra Road in Thon Buri district

Charoen Nakhon Road in Khlong San district

Tha Phra intersection, Bangkok Yai district

Soi Nikhom Rodfai Thon Buri in Bangkok Noi district

Buddha Monthon 1 Road in Taling Chan district

Thawee Wattana Road in Thawee Wattana district

Aekkachai Road in Bang Bon district

Pracha-uthit Road in Thung Khru district

Samsen Road in Phra Nakhon district

Huay Khwang district

Khlong Toey sub-district

Ban Sue sub-district

Lat Phrao district

Thung Song Hong sub-district

Pahonyothin Road in Bang Khen district

Saphan Soong district

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Economy

BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash

The Thaiger

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BTS skytrain maximum fare rate increasing to 158 baht despite backlash | The Thaiger

Bangkok’s BTS skytrain maximum fare rate is being raised to 158 baht despite receiving backlash over the hike. The Transport Ministry is behind the calls for City Hall to stop the increase as it says it is too expensive for the average commuter who takes the BTS 2 times a day. Saksayam Chidchob, the Transport Minister, says other routes should be explored before increasing the costs for commuters.

“The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration should halt its policy on new BTS maximum fare and wait for other authorities to find proper solutions.”

The BMA and Transport Ministry were jointly appointed to set the fare’s ceiling in 2018, but it appears the BMA is now taking control of the new price hike. The BMA and Interior Ministry were previously responsible for granting concessions for the skytrain’s operation but the Transport Ministry is also part of the reviewing committee for extending the concessions and overall investments in the country’s mass transit system.

But deals are being made by the BMA that appear to ignore the Transport Ministry’s equal role in making decisions and the ministry says such actions are breaching co-investment laws. It isn’t the first time the BMA has made decisions without the Transport Ministry’s joint approval.

Before the new hike in fares, it previously extended concessions to the current Bangkok Mass Transit System in order to keep the fare ceiling at 65 baht. Now, making a new deal that would see passengers paying more than double in total fares across the skytrain system is being seen as pushing the envelope.

What is not clear is why the fares are being hiked when the country is suffering economically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the new maximum is set to rollout on February 16, Bangkok’s governor has offered to bring the new maximum down to 104 for a short period of time in consideration of the recent Covid outbreak.

But even increasing the fare to 104 baht is being widely opposed. The secretary-general of the Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution says even the discounted rate is too expensive for daily commuters. And, the date for the discount ending has not been announced.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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