Nakhon Si Thammarat road blockage clearance done lawfully: Governor

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NAKHON SI THAMMARAT, Sept 16 — The operation to reopen the blocked Asian Highway roadway at Kuan Nong Hong intersection here was carried out lawfully after rubber grower protesters blocked the road for two days, according to Nakhon Si Thammarat governor Wiroj Jiwarangsan.

Mr Wiroj said that the authorities used the Public Disaster Prevention and Relief Act and as well as criminal law to clear the roads as he was informed that teenagers’ behaviour, particularly the drug users, at the rally site were at risk of causing disorder among the protesters.

The governor said he instructed the police to clear the blocked roads and detained the drug users for treatment.

Some 300 police early this morning removed the tents, wooden barricades and other objects from the Asian Highway to reopen it for traffic without clashing with the protesters.

Police said their operation started early morning as there were only a few people at the rally site and the authorities wanted only to open the traffic.

Mr Wiroj also told local residents to think carefully before joining the protest as  blocking the roads could violate other people’s rights and affect tourism and the economy.

The rally resumed over the weekend with blocking the road at Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Kuan Nong Hong intersection, between Km333 and Km334 of Highway 41.

The protesters demanded that rubber price must be pledged at Bt120 per kilo. They also called on the government to solve the problem of falling palm oil prices.

The protesters said they wanted the government’s answer within seven days or they will rally at Government House.