City Hall starts, but doesn't finish, Mahakan Fort dismantling

City Hall starts, but doesn't finish, Mahakan Fort dismantling

Mahakan Fort community leaders and representatives hold talks with deputy Bangkok governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang. The community representatives allowed the dismantling of 12 homes, but the remaining 45 are still standing, pending further negotiations. Photos by Jiraporn Kuhakan.
Mahakan Fort community leaders and representatives hold talks with deputy Bangkok governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang. The community representatives allowed the dismantling of 12 homes, but the remaining 45 are still standing, pending further negotiations. Photos by Jiraporn Kuhakan.

City Hall dismantled 12 houses at Mahakan Fort Community on Saturday, but put on hold the remaining 45 amidst protests by residents.

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City Hall dismantles 12 houses at Mahakan Fort amid protests

Online Reporters

City Hall dismantled 12 houses at Mahakan Fort Community on Saturday amidst protests by residents who blocked the entrance to the old community in Bangkok.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) earlier gave the deadline for 57 households to vacate the fort within Sept 3, but many refused to pay heed to the eviction notice that was put up in their community, which will be turned into a public park.

Not everyone in the community is resisting. Some residents moved out before today's deadline.

Residents with green ribbons assembled at the historic fort at around 6am on Saturday. They were joined by supporters who were members of civic groups from other areas in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. Iron barriers were put up in front of all entrance gates to the community, with placards in protest of the city administration’s eviction order placed there. Reporters were not allowed to go inside the community.

The protesters stood firm that they would not move out of the community, which they said had a historic value that they wanted to preserve.

Most residents staged a sit-in protest at the venue and some laid down their bodies on the road to block officials from entering their old community.

At around 9am, almost 300 BMA officials, led by deputy Bangkok governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang, moved to the site to begin dismantling houses. Anti-riot police and soldiers were also sent there to maintain peace and order.

The eviction team could only remove galvanised iron fences at Khlong Padung canal side before leaving the venue at around 9.45am as the residents refused to let them go inside. Traffic on Mahachai Road in front of the fort was closed.

Pol Gen Assawin held negotiations with community leader Thawatchai Mahavorakul and representatives of the protesting residents at around 10am.

A BMA official at work dismantling one section of the Manakan Fort community.

After the talks, the representatives agreed to allow City Hall to dismantle 12 houses. The dismantling plan of other houses was put on hold, pending talks with a tripartite panel, headed by human rights activist Angkhana Neelapaijit.

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Vocabulary

  • activist: someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม
  • administration: government - รัฐบาล
  • amid: at the same time as - ท่ามกลาง
  • assembled: gathered together -
  • Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA): the local government of Bangkok - กรุงเทพมหานคร
  • barrier: a bar or gate that stops people, animals or vehicles from entering a place - สิ่งกีดขวางทางผ่าน
  • block: to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else - ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
  • civic group: a group made up of citizens rather than government officials -
  • community: the people living in one particular area - ชุมชน
  • deadline: a time or day by which something must be done - เส้นตาย
  • deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง
  • dismantle: to take something apart - รื้อ
  • entrance: a door, gate, passage, etc. used for entering a room, building or place - ทางเข้า
  • eviction: the process of forcing someone to leave a building or place where they have been living or working - การขับไล่ออกจากพื้นที่   การไล่ที่
  • fort: a building or buildings built in order to defend an area against attack - ป้อมปราการ
  • galvanised (adj): (of metal) covered with zinc in order to protect it from rust - ปกคลุมด้วยสังกะสี
  • historic: old and of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์
  • household: a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน
  • human rights: the basic rights which it is generally considered all people should have, such as justice and the freedom to say what you think - สิทธิมนุษยชน
  • maintain: to keep - รักษา
  • negotiations: formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง
  • notice: a sheet of paper giving written or printed information, usually put in a public place - กระดานปิดประกาศ
  • order: a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged - ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
  • panel: a group of people who make decisions or judgments - คณะกรรมการ
  • pay heed (verb): to pay attention to/to follow someone's wishes, demands, etc. - ให้ความสนใจกับ, เอาใจใส่
  • pending: waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed - ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
  • placard: a large written or printed notice that is put in a public place or carried in a march or protest - ป้ายประกาศ, แผ่นประกาศ
  • preserve: to keep something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - ทำให้คงอยู่, สงวน
  • protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • public: open to people in general - สาธารณะ
  • refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
  • reporters (noun): people whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
  • representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
  • residents: people living in a particular area - ประชาชนผู้อยู่อาศัยในบริเวณ
  • resist: to oppose or fight against someone or something - ต่อต้าน
  • riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล
  • section: any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน
  • site: a place where something is located - สถานที่
  • stage: to organise an event or activity - จัด
  • stand firm (verb): to refuse to move back; to refuse to change your opinions - ยืนหยัด
  • surrounding: all around a place - บริเวณรอบๆ
  • tripartite: involving three organisations or countries - ไตรภาคี
  • vacate: to leave a place - ออกจาก, ออกไปจาก, ย้ายออก
  • venue: the place where an activity or event happens - สถานที่
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