BANGKOK Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said this afternoon (Nov. 14) that three groups had applied to use the City Hall square (Larn Khon Mueang) during the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit taking place from Wednesday Oct. 16 till Saturday Oct. 19, Naewna newspaper said.
Speaking after a meeting on preparation for this summit with most of the assigned missions now completed, Chadchart said he has been holding talks with the police on the three demonstrations taking place at the City Hall square which is now open for this purpose.
He added that it is normal in a democracy for people to have different opinions but he urged demonstrators to not march on the streets and stay within the designated area and express their views peacefully.
In sprucing up Bangkok for the Apec summit flags have been put up at Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports as well as along the roads and expressway routes they will be passing through. Signs have been repainted and footpaths too improved and more lights installed.
Disaster relief units have been stationed at various hotels where these leaders will be staying according to the safety plan.
The public may again use Benjakitti Park next to Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre where the Apec meetings are being held on Sunday Nov. 20.
Chadchart added that a “war room” had been set up at the City Hall in Sao Chingcha to coordinate various aspects of the summit while he will be based at another meeting room in the Klong Toey area to ensure a smooth run.
He added that one had to be careful because unexpected incidents could crop up. Also while the rainy season is now over there is still a 60% chance of a downpour over the next three to four days but all the drain pipes have been cleaned.
He also urged the public to follow the news as some roads could be closed to allow motorcades to pass through which would disrupt travelling in the city and for this reason those who could work from home should do so till the summit ends.
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt. Photos: Thai Rath