Friday, 18 April 2008

The Olympic Torch is coming to Bangkok this Saterday, protesters, you have been warned!

The Olympic Torch is coming to Bangkok this Saterday, protesters, you have been warned!

Protest are expected but intypical Thai way, any foreigner caught protesting or rather disrupting the relay is punished in a complete over the top way, whilst in the meantime much worse things happening in Thailand go un-monitered or un-regulated.

Here are a few articles by The Nation, an English language nationwide paper;

Olympic Torch relay run in Bangkok to face protests

Several networks and organisations are planning to stage pro-Tibet activities on Thai soil Saturday to coincide with the day Beijing Olympic Torch will be carried through Thailand. The organisers include: Network for the Liberation of Tibet, Thai Labour Campaign Group, social critics from Chulalongkorn University, Activists for Social Changes, Young People for Democracy Movement and Workers Democracy Group.

The Nation 18/04/08

Police threaten to arrest Olympic protesters

Those who disrupt the Olympic torch run in Bangkok Saturday will be unconditionally arrested and charged with causing public disturbance, police spokesman Pol Lt General Watcharaphol Prasarnratchakij said Thursday.Foreign protestors will have their rights for immediate residence and their future entry in Thailand revoked, and those with also Thai nationality will have it revoked permanently.

The Nation 18/04/08


You'll be playing with fire

Any foreigner who takes part in protests during the run will be kicked out for good, police warn
Published on April 18, 2008 by The Nation

Daily xpress

Protesters disrupting tomorrow's Olympic-torch relay will be arrested immediately and prosecuted for public disturbance, police say.

Foreigners will be expelled and banned from returning. Those with residency will have it revoked permanently, spokesman Lt-General Watcharaphol Prasarnratchakij says.
"If they come here and engage in unlawful acts, they must be prosecuted ... if they engage in illegal activity, we will proceed according to the law by revoking their visa," he says.
"We have prepared everything to ensure the smoothness of the ceremony."

A Government House source says there are groups in this country motivated to disrupt the relay, including human-rights groups and the local Falun Gong.

Additional police have been deployed to the Plaza Athenee Hotel, where the torch and Olympic flame are housed ahead of tomorrow's 3pm run.

There will be as many as 2,000 policemen on duty along the route, according to the Olympic Committee of Thailand.

Four police vehicles and six officers will accompany the relay at all times. A bomb squad and a canine crew are on standby as is a special weapons and tactics outfit.

The heavy security highlights concerns here and the government's desire to avoid similar chaos to that which occurred overseas.

Free Tibet Network member Pokpong Lawansiri disagrees with the stance against pro-Tibet protests.

"Under the Constitution, an individual - local or foreigner - has the right to rally for a cause," he says. "Peaceful rally should be allowed".
He expects about 100 members to protests.

Prime ministerial aide Akhaphol Sorrasuchart says protests can continue as long as there's no run disruption and they do not break other laws, including traffic, or damage property.

A number of locations have been prepared for protests, although he will not say where.

The relay route through normally crowded Bangkok has been cordoned off with barricades to deter protests.

Rallying point
Networks and organisations planning pro-Tibet activities tomorrow include:

>> Free Tibet Network, Thai Labour Campaign Group, Chulalongkorn University social critics, Activists for Social Change, Young People for Democracy Movement and Workers Democracy.
>> Others include Reporters Without Borders and China pro-democracy and pro-Taiwan groups.



Paul Valente said...

Definitely mixed messages the goverment is sending:

1) If you protest you will pay dearly. Do NOT even think about protesting.

2) Protesting is protected by the law so it is okay if it is peaceful.

Use power to intimidate, then give lip-service to the law.

Camille Lemmens said...

Hi Paul,

It's a strange situation indeed. Guess waving a Tibetan flag will be considered disrupting.

Also wonder why the Chinese keep pushing the relays, it's not helping them in a positive way, it seems.