District director defends Sanam Luang's public role

District director defends Sanam Luang's public role

A man practices skateboarding at Sanam Luang on March 1, 2021. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
A man practices skateboarding at Sanam Luang on March 1, 2021. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

City Hall has assured the public that Sanam Luang is open for visitors every day, except when important events such as royal ceremonies or state functions are held.

The response came after remarks by Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, a candidate running in the Bangkok governor election under the Move Forward Party's banner, saying he would have fences around Sanam Luang removed to make it more accessible to the public.

Wasant Boonmuenwai, director of Phra Nakhon district, said Sanam Luang is registered as a historic site and serves as a special venue for royal events such as the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, as well as government-sponsored activities such as those held to mark Father's Day.

Moreover, Sanam Luang is located near the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) so City Hall has issued a specific set of regulations for the use and maintenance of Sanam Luang, he said.

"Sanam Luang is open to the public from 5am until 10pm. Walking and running are the only activities allowed. Other activities are currently not permitted due to the Covid-19 pandemic."

Mr Wasant also warned Mr Wiroj that he could face legal action if he violated the regulations.

During his visit to Sanam Luang on Thursday, Mr Wiroj said Sanam Luang belongs to the public and declared a campaign to "reclaim Sanam Luang", saying the compound should not be made off-limits to people and it should be made into another green space for city residents.

There is no need for the fences because Sanam Luang is an open space and no one is likely to commit crimes, particularly with all the CCTV in the compound, he said.

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