Protesters warned to stay away

Residents reassured by road closures

Armed officers stand guard in the middle of a blocked stretch of road near the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, the venue for the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit on Friday and Saturday. (Photo: SOMCHAI POOMLARD)

Police have warned protest groups not to cause disturbances at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit later this week and to stay at a designated protest site.

Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said some groups had asked the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) for permission to hold rallies in Lan Khon Muang Square near the hotel. city ​​from today until Friday.

“They have been asked to limit their activities to the designated assembly site and not to disrupt the summit,” said Major General Pol Archayon, who also serves as the spokesman for a joint command center set up to monitor security during the summit.

Anyone wishing to lodge a complaint during the summit can do so with the Foreign Ministry, which will forward their complaints to the relevant agencies, he said.

He also said some Apec leaders and delegates will arrive ahead of the summit which is due to take place on Friday and Saturday.

National Police Chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, in his capacity as Deputy Chief of the Joint Command, met on Tuesday with representatives of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Health as well as other agencies to coordinate efforts to secure the Apec summit. is going smoothly, said Pol Maj Gen Archayon.

He said people living or working in areas declared no-traffic will have until Saturday to register with the police to receive permission to access the roads during the summit.

Road closures took effect 24 hours a day from today to Saturday on Ratchadaphisek Road between Asok Montri and Rama IV-Klong Toey intersections and on Duangphitak Road.

Workers delivering goods and mail to people in these areas can seek permission from police officers at relevant checkpoints to access the roads, Major General Pol Archayon said.

Shuttles will also be available for people living and working in and around the area.

Pol Maj Gen Archayon said the Joint Command will be monitoring the summit closely and people were urged to look out for anything suspicious and alert the authorities by calling 191 or 1599.

Navy chief Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said the navy’s U-tapao airport in Rayong will be among several airports used to accommodate foreign leaders heading to the summit.

The navy has also been tasked with providing security for Apec leaders and delegates staying at hotels along the Chao Phraya River, he said.

Security measures are now in place for the Navy Convention Hall on the banks of the Chao Phraya to serve as the venue for a gala dinner for Apec leaders tomorrow, Admiral Choengchai said.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt admitted on Monday that he was concerned about the planned protests at the summit.

He said police had asked the BMA to set aside an area for protesters for security and traffic management reasons.

The BMA will make Lan Khon Muang Square available for any political gatherings during the summit, Mr Chadchart said. He said protest groups Ratsadon, Tha Lu Fa and Phai Daodin had requested permission to hold protests until Friday, adding that they had been asked to limit their activities to the designated site.

A security source said the group calling itself “Citizens Stop Apec 2022” led by political activist Somyot Prueksakasemsuk will hold a rally at Asok intersection tomorrow and travel to the Queen Sirikit Convention Center, the venue for the summit. , to deliver letters to the leaders of Apec.

The group on Tuesday delivered petition letters to the embassies of Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States to deliver their messages to APEC leaders attending the Bangkok summit. In the letter, the group accuses the government of human rights abuses and demands the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, among several demands.

The dancers rehearse a puppet show developed for the Apec 2022 summit. The show is organized by the Siam Piwat group, the summit’s official communication partner. (Photo: Siam Piwat)

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