Motorists advised to avoid Ratchaprasong during Sunday protest
Bangkok police have advised motorists to avoid Ratchaprasong intersection in Pathum Wan district, where anti-government protesters are gathering on Sunday.
Pathum Wan police station chief Pansa Amarapithak said drivers should avoid Ratchadamri Road from Ratchaprasong to the Pratunam intersection and Rama I Road from Chid Lom to the Chalermphao intersection.
The areas are expected to be congested from 5pm when rally organiser Kana Lomruam Prachachon (Melting Pot Group) says the protest will start.
Pansa said the group’s leaders, Jatuporn Promphan of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and Nitithorn Lamlua, told police that about 300 protesters would attend the rally.
Pansa said the two leaders promised the protest would stick to the pavement in front of CentralWorld and not stray onto the road.
But the Sunday rally would add pressure to traffic congestion in the busy shopping district, so shoppers should use the Skytrain where possible instead of driving, the station chief added.
Jatuporn said his group will continue protesting against the so-called “3 Ps” despite Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha being suspended as prime minister pending a Constitutional Court ruling on his tenure limit.
The two other “Ps” are acting PM Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and Interior Minister Gen Anupong “Pok” Paochinda. The three generals joined forces to stage the 2014 coup and have been in Cabinet together since then.
Earlier, Jatuporn noted that Prayut was not suspended from Cabinet as he still held the post of defence minister. He added that the former coup leaders were seeking to cling on to power forever.
Pansa said that both plainclothes and uniformed police would be deployed to monitor the rally and maintain security at ground level and on the Skywalk.
Police would check for weapons at the rally site while also ensuring the Skywalk was not used to launch attacks on protesters below, he added.
He said protesters’ constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully would be protected as long as they did not mention the royal institution. He also advised them to confine their activities to the seven sites prepared for them by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Protesters who gathered elsewhere must avoid violating traffic law by blocking roads, he said.