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The business community in the Ratchaprasong intersection area has had enough of red-shirt political rallies, saying they have caused huge losses. 

Vendors, business operators and employees at Ratchaprasong intersection, led by Chai Srivikorn, president of the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association, gather in front of Gaysorn Plaza shopping centre to protest against the red shirt rallies. They called on the government to regulate political rallies which cause enormous economic damage. CHANAT KATANYU


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Red shirt rallies are making us broke, say angry retailers

SUPOJ WANCHAROEN

Business operators, vendors and residents at the Ratchaprasong intersection have urged the government to regulate political gatherings, complaining that the shopping malls and other businesses in the area were being badly hit by the red shirt rallies.

About 2,000 business operators, vendors and employees yesterday gathered in front of Gaysorn Plaza shopping centre at 11.30am to oppose the use of Ratchaprasong intersection as a protest venue.

The group dispersed one hour later before sending representatives to submit a letter of complaint to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Government House.

Chai Srivikorn, president of the Ratchaprasong Square Trade Association, said the turnout of Ratchaprasong residents and business community members was a stand against the area being used for political rallies, which disrupted normal trading.

He said the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship’s latest gathering at the intersection on Sunday collectively cost the area about 100 million baht in sales.

Mr Chai said the UDD’s siege of the intersection for almost two months last year badly hurt 2,088 operators of large and small businesses.

The red shirt rally had caused the businesses to lose about 11.2 billion baht in sales and had affected the job security of more than 30,000 employees, he said.

The rally also blocked traffic, affecting residents and motorists.

In the letter submitted to the prime minister, the group called on the government to find a suitable site for political gatherings, ban the sale of protest-related items and to disallow road closures by protesters.

The group also urged the government to set up a tripartite panel comprising representatives of the government, protesters and affected residents to discuss protest sites.

The group also called on the government to urgently pass laws on political gatherings in public areas.

Meanwhile, UDD chairwoman Thida Thavornseth said she was ready to hold talks with representatives of business operators in the area.

She also wanted them to understand the significance of the location, as Sunday’s rally was to commemorate the deaths and injuries that occurred when the government approved the use of force to disperse the protesters last May.

vendor – someone who sells something, but not in a shop พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย
operator – a person or company that runs a business ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
employee – someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
intersection – a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other สี่แยก
trade association – an organisation formed to represent a number of businesses involved in the same type of work สมาคมการค้า
protest – to make a strong complaint or disagreement ประท้วง
rally – a public meeting that a lot of people go to in order to support someone or protest against someone or something การชุมนุมประท้วง
regulate – to control an activity officially by using rules ควบคุม
enormous – extremely large มหาศาล
broke – having lost or used up all your money ไร้เงิน,ล้มละลาย
retailer – a person or company that sells goods directly to the public for their own use ผู้ขายปลีก
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
gathering – a party or a meeting when many people come together as a group การรวมตัว, การประชุม
oppose – to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy คัดค้าน
venue – a place where public gatherings or meetings take place สถานที่ชุมนุม
disperse – (of a crowd of people) to separate and leave in different directions  สลายฝูงชน
representative – someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them ผู้แทน
submit – to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
complaint – when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
turnout – the number of people who come to an event or take part in an activity  ผู้ที่เข้าร่วม
stand – an opinion, especially one which is public จุดยืน
disrupt – to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected ทำให้เสียกระบวน, ทำให้เสียระบบ, ทำให้สับสน
United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) – the group originally formed to demonstrate against the 2006 coup and which supported the Somchai Wongsawat government against the PAD and which is now leading the fight against the current government. They are known for wearing red shirts แนวร่วมประชาธิปไตยต่อต้านเผด็จการแห่งชาต
collectively – involving all the members of a group โดยรวม
siege – non-standard meaning) the act of going into a place and taking control away form the people or government there การเข้ายึดครอง
job security – a guarantee that you will keep your job ความมั่นคงในงาน
block – to stop someone or something from moving through or along something else  ปิดกั้น
suitable – acceptable or right for someone or something เหมาะสม
site – a place where something is located  สถานที่
ban – to officially say that someone is not allowed to do something   ห้ามอย่างเป็นทางการ
disallow – to not allow something ไม่อนุญาต, ไม่ยอมให้
tripartite – involving three organisations or countries ไตรภาคี
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
comprise – to consist or be made up of two or more things ประกอบด้วย
urgent – needing to be dealt with immediately ที่เร่งด่วน
significance – importance; the importance that something has because it affects other things ความสำคัญ
commemorate - to remember someone or something officially การระลึกถึง
injury – physical damage done to a person or a part of their body อาการบาดเจ็บ

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