Over 20 protesters submitted a petition with the British embassy to oppose Mr Blair’s participation in a one-day special lecture on "Uniting for the Future: Learning from Each Other's Experience" scheduled to be held on September 2. Police were deployed to set up a fence to maintain order in front of the embassy and facilitate the traffic.
Apart from Mr Blair, former President of Finland Marti Ahtisaari and expert on truth commissions and transitional justice Priscilla Hayner are also set to deliver keynote remarks at the event.
Protesters told the press that they do not agree with the government’s plan to pay Mr Blair 20 million baht to speak at the upcoming forum and expressed doubt whether the forum would present an insight into domestic politics. The government has so far denied the protesters’ claim.
After filing the petition with the embassy, the group dispersed peacefully but promised to regroup if the call for Mr Blair to reconsider his visit is unheeded.
The special lecture is part of the political reform forum being spearheaded by the government with an aim to discuss solutions to the ongoing political turmoil which has gripped the kingdom since the 2006 military coup.