BMA sets deadline for protesters to vacate Sanam Luang

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BANGKOK, May 14 – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has set a deadline for a protesting people’s network to vacate Sanam Luang by this Saturday as the area will be a venue for Buddhism week in celebration of Visakha Puja Day.

BMA spokesperson Threedow Aphaiwongs has asserted that the BMA will again ask for cooperation from the protesters to leave Sanam Luang by Saturday because various activities will be held there to mark the “World Day of Vesak,” or Visakha Puja, from May 18 through 24.

If the protesters defy the order, she said, the BMA would have no choice but to enforce legal procedures to force the protesters to leave Sanam Luang.

She said the Phra Nakhon district office has reported to police and some 100 additional police and city law enforcement officers have been prepared to maintain order.

A people’s network protesting against the Thai-Cambodian temple dispute has rallied at Sanam Luang since May 7 and has vowed to continue demonstrating until the government resigns.

Ms Threedow said that Sanam Luang was the responsibility of the BMA and is reserved for royal ceremony use and that other groups would not be permitted to use the area for other activities.

She said BMA officials have negotiated with protest leaders to move the rally to nearby Saranrom Park, Sanam Chai or the City Hall plaza but the proposals were rejected