Shipping containers block approach to Government House
Protest planned against prime minister
published : 23 Aug 2022 at 11:54
writer: Wassana Nanuam
Police have blocked approaches to Government House with shipping containers and razor wire ahead of a rally against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha over his eight-year tenure.
Containers were also placed on Chamai Maruchet Bridge on Phitsanulok Road, opposite Government House.
Police expected at least 500 demonstrators to gather outside Government House on Tuesday afternoon.
Police in uniform and plain clothes have been on duty at road checkpoints and areas around Government House since late Monday night. Protesters were expected to join political activities at various locations to call for the end of Gen Prayut's time in office and criticise the government.
One of the planned protest sites was Government House.
At Lan Khon Muang in front of City Hall in Phra Nakhon district, demonstrators set up a rally stage on Monday night. Security guards provided by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration kept watch. There were no incidents.
Political activist leaders Jatuporn Prompan and Nititorn Lamlua have previously called for an end to Gen Prayut’s eight years in power. Should he insist on staying on beyond Aug 24 they would mobilise demonstrations demanding the return of the country to the people.
They planned to rally at Government House on Tuesday, with demonstrators intending to stay overnight there.
If Gen Prayut did not come to Government House but chose instead to work from elsewhere, the two activists said they would lead the demonstrators there to put pressure on Gen Prayut. They had no fear of the use of force to disperse them.
Pol Maj Gen Varakorn Yooyangthai, commander of the 3rd Special Branch Division, said police were on full alert.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau was responsible for closing off the area around Government House to traffic, he said.
A car carrying Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is seen entering Government House at a gate near Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge to attend the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Gen Prayut left Government House at 1.26pm. He cancelled his meeting with Archibishop Pual Tschang In-Nam, ambassador for the Vatican in Thailand, who is leaving the kingdom as his term has expired. (Video by Wassana Nanuam)