Thai PM to attend Bangkok Pride 2024 amid security concerns

Picture courtesy of Quora

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will attend the Bangkok Pride Festival 2024, becoming the first Thai premier to join the event. This decision comes despite security concerns highlighted by a recent warning from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

On May 10, both organisations issued a joint release warning that foreign terrorist organisations (FTOs) might target events during LGBTQ Pride Month. Although the release did not specify any particular city or Pride event, it noted that FTOs or their supporters may exploit the increased gatherings associated with June 2024 Pride Month. The release said that FTOs or supporters may seek to exploit increased gatherings associated with the upcoming June 2024 Pride Month.

The release also mentioned that FTO efforts to incite or commit violence against holiday celebrations, including Pride events or LGBTQIA+ venues, are exacerbated by the current heightened threat environment in the US and other Western countries. Additionally, it pointed out that FTOs have previously promoted anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric and targeted related events or venues for attacks.

Last June, three alleged ISIS sympathisers were arrested for attempting to attack a Pride parade in Vienna, Austria. The release warned that attackers might try to gain access to restricted areas, bypass security, impersonate law enforcement officials, or make violent threats online, in person, or via mail.

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Bangkok Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon addressed these concerns on Monday, stating that while the threat might not be concentrated in Thailand, the country will remain vigilant. Sanon assured that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will coordinate with the Metropolitan Police Bureau of the Royal Thai Police to secure Pride month activities.

“We are in talks over security issues with the Metropolitan Police Bureau, and we will have a general meeting again on May 27. Moreover, we will discuss the issue with the national security agencies.”

Security agencies

He added that the BMA and security agencies have experience in securing large events, such as the Songkran festival and last year’s Pride parade.

The President and founder of Narumit Pride, Waddao Chumaporn, the organiser of Bangkok Pride Festival 2024, confirmed that the Bangkok Pride Parade 2024 will be held under the theme Celebration of Love, Celebrating Marriage Equality. The parade, a highlight of the event, will take place on Rama I Road, from the National Stadium to Central World.

Over 200,000 people, including both Thais and international visitors, are expected to participate in this year’s Bangkok Pride, reported Bangkok Post.

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