Din Daeng Flats residents urge police, protesters to negotiate
Residents of Din Daeng Flats called on police and protesters to hold peace talks after a violent rally at Sam Liam Din Daeng Junction in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district.
It has been more than a month since the anti-government rallyists under the “Thalu Gas” group have been using the junction as their rally point, which often leads to clashes with crowd-control police, who have been deployed in the area to tackle the situation.
Firecrackers, ping pong bombs, flares and Molotov cocktails have been thrown at police officers, who have responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon at the protesters.
Somneug Thapnoi, president of Din Daeng Housing Project, also known as Din Daeng Flats, said on Tuesday that the rallies have caused discomfort to residents due to the sound of explosions and smoke from burning tyres that rallyists have used to block police officers from advancing.
“Social media often shares photos of police brutality against the rallyists at Din Daeng Junction, but had the protesters held a peaceful rally, or never held a rally at all, there would be no need for police to use drastic measures,” he said.
“Police should therefore hold discussions with rally leaders so both sides can address each other’s demands and make compromises,” Somneug advised.
“I am not against the idea of public rallies, but I strongly disagree with participants who turn up only with the intention to fight the police,” he said.
“These rallyists often arrive in several groups of 20-30 people. They do not seek true democracy, all they want is violence,” Somneug bemoaned.