AS the joint parliamentary session to deliberate constitution amendment drafts got underway this morning (Nov. 17), the Harbour Department issued a warning to the People’s Party that their intention to sail up to Kiak Kai pier adjacent to the complex on some duck-shaped boats is very risky because the river water is high today with there being strong currents, Siam Rath newspaper reported.
The department said the flimsy duck boats that People’s Party demonstrators intend to use to reach Kiak Kai pier at 3 p.m. today might not be able to withstand the rough river waters.
Meanwhile both Marine Police and Royal Thai Navy units are periodically monitoring the area around this pier from morning while the Harbour Department said it will be running its express boat service normally till 7 p.m.
The House of Representatives has also liaised with Siriraj Hospital to send in a first aid boat in case of emergency.
At the same time Border Patrol Police units are keeping control from Kiak Kai all the way to nearby Wat Kaew Fah Chulamanee pier while Parliament police are looking after the interior of the complex.
The first protest group to arrive outside the Parliament was Thai Phakdi Group led by Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom who occupied some sidewalks and part of the Pracharat Sai 1 Road.
Warong said his group opposed all three constitution amendment drafts, tabled by the government, the opposition and Internet Dialogue on Law Reform (iLaw), but particularly the latter because it says anyone should be allowed to join the Constitution Drafting Committee.
The group handed their letter to Deputy Senate Speaker Gen. Singsuek Singprai.
Chao Phaya river around the Parliament this morning and the river security put in place. Photos: Siam Rath