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Government appeals to protesters to preserve Thailand’s “image” during APEC

APEC 2022

Please don’t embarrass us… Or words to that effect. The Thai government is appealing to pro-democracy activists to lay low during an international summit being hosted in Bangkok next month. Thailand will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, with government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri saying all sectors are prepared and security will be tight.

The Bangkok Post reports that Anucha was asked if PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has any concerns about potential anti-government protests, which have been taking place on and off since July 2020.

Anucha says officials are doing their best to inform the public about the summit and how important the event is to Thailand. He adds that most Thais should inform themselves about the summit and what topics will be discussed, adding that Thailand must create a good impression during the event.

“We want people to be proud that our country has been selected to be the host, as it is quite difficult being selected out of all the 21 country members. We should join together to be a good host and impress our guests. This event will be of great importance for Thailand’s role in the global community.”

In addition to representatives of member countries, Thailand has also extended 3 invitations to non-member countries, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. It’s understood he will be accompanied by 800 dignitaries and other business leaders, according to the Bangkok Post.

Also invited are the Cambodian leader, Hun Sen, and French President, Emmanuel Macron. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been invited but has yet to confirm his attendance.

Security will be very tight during the summit, with national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas saying the convoy of attendees’ vehicles will receive a police escort to the event. Around 200,000 police officers are expected to be on duty, as well as army officers, public health agencies, and City Hall officials. Damrongsak adds that police will speak to leading political activists ahead of the event.

“Police are preparing to talk to the protest leaders, aiming to prevent any violence or actions which could damage the country’s image during APEC.”

A number of public holidays have been confirmed for Bangkok and surrounding areas during the event, in order to ease traffic congestion in and around the capital.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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