Fri, July 01, 2022

in-focus

Activists protest in front of UN building against Thai NGO draft bill


A group of activists on Monday demonstrated in front of the United Nations building in Bangkok to protest against the government’s plan to enact a law for regulating non-governmental organisations.

The group briefly engaged in a tussle with police after they were told to disperse for violating the emergency decree that prohibits the gathering of more than 10 persons.

The protesters, whose numbers were estimated to be a few dozen, managed to push metal barriers until police allowed them to occupy a part of Rajdamnoen Nok Road in front of the UN Economic and Social Commissioner for Asia and the Pacific Building.

The demonstration was led by Lertsak Khamkongsak, leader of the Commoner Party, and Somboon Khamhaeng, an activist from the South. The rally was joined by representatives from many groups, including the Constitution Advocacy Alliance, the EnLaw Thai Foundation, and the network of slum dwellers in four regions.

They labelled the demonstration as “eight years of the National Council for Peace and Order in power, we must stop it from expanding power”.

Activists protest in front of UN building against Thai NGO draft bill The protesters called on the government to send a representative to receive their demand by Monday or else they would rally in front of Government House on Tuesday.

They also called on the newly elected Bangkok governor to arrange mobile toilet facilities for demonstrators while they camp in front of the UN building.

“We need to use the road and the people have the right to demonstrate. We will not enter the UN building compound. We’ll use only the road in front and we will take rest to gather strength to swoop down on Government House tomorrow,” Lertsak said.

Activists protest in front of UN building against Thai NGO draft bill He said the group is against the draft bill -- which is in the public hearing stage -- on regulating non-governmental organisations, as once such a law comes into effect, it would restrict the people’s right to public assembly.

Published : May 23, 2022

By : THE NATION