WITH demonstrators who are gathering in Bangkok on Saturday September 19 intending to march to Government House the next day, Sunday, security staff and police have started moving out all important documents from the complex with parking being banned there from tomorrow evening till Sunday, Siam Rath newspaper reported this afternoon (Sept. 17, 2020).
Mr. Prateep Kiratirekha, the Prime Minister’s deputy secretary-general for political affairs, held a meeting with all department heads to step up security.
Later at 2:40 p.m. Pol. Col. Watcharawee Thammasema, head of Special Branch Bureau 3 which is responsible for Government House, said the transfer of all important items and appliances, particularly documents, for temporarily storage elsewhere already started today.
Vehicles that usually park overnight at the government complex have been told not to do so.
He added that three companies of police are being brought in to control the situation with the Special Branch responsible for the interior of Government House while Metropolitan Police the exterior.
Policemen are moving into this complex today and are using Building 20 as command centre.
Pol. Col. Watcharawee added the number of workers at Government House will be reduced or increased depending on daily situation but he does not expect anything serious to occur.
Government House is a restricted area and those who force their way in will be violating Public Assembly Act B.E. 2558.
From tomorrow evening onward (Sept. 18) only those who have a Government House card will be allowed in but only if it is absolutely necessary.
However traffic around Government House will be running as normal without any road closures.
Government House staff today put fliers on the windshields of vehicles parked there informing the owners that there is temporary parking ban at the complex during Sept. 18-Sept. 20 because it is necessary to use the area for other purposes.
In 2008, 30,000 protesters led by the People’s Alliance for Democracy, more commonly known as the Yellow Shirts, occupied Government House forcing Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej and his advisers to work out of a military command post. Thai riot police entered the occupied compound and delivered a court order for the eviction of protesters, but were instead abused.
Top: Thailand’s Government House. Photo: FRGT/10 (CC BY 2.0)