Lets Go Everywhere

The Chatuchak story
November 13, 2006, 10:01 am
Filed under: bangkok, bomb, chatuchak, coup, expat, free press, media, News and politics, protests, thailand

Thugs demolish Chatuchak stalls

Police forced to intervene as leaseholder tries to evict unwanted tenants

The Nation

More than 100 armed men stormed into the Sunday Market at Chatuchak early yesterday to destroy stalls as the owners pelted them with debris in a futile effort to stop them.

In scenes reminiscent of the  destruction of Sukhumvit Square ordered by Chat Thai deputy leader Chuwit Kamolvisit several years ago, thugs tore through the area using strong-arm tactics to keep the stall owners at bay.

The Sunday Market has been leased by Thanasarnsombat Pattana Company from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT). It is located next to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.

Vendors who have operated at the market for about 10 years insisted they were protected by a court order until negotiations, scheduled for February 7, were conducted.

When police officers arrived at the market at around 5am, stalls were being torn apart despite protests from the vendors, some of whom hurled bottles and stones.

A vendor was reportedly hospitalised after a demolition worker punched him with a brass knuckle-duster. Some of the men carried axes, clubs and crowbars.

The police urged both sides to negotiate.

A woman, calling herself Apinya, said she was a legal adviser for Thanasarnsombat Pattana.

She said an April court order meant all tenants with contracts with the bankrupt Sunday Holdings Company should have left the area by November 2.

“We displayed copies of the court order and SRT statement that declares our company’s rights here,” Apinya said.

Sunday Holdings used to lease the area from SRT until it went bankrupt in 1998. SRT later took charge of the area and sold the lease to Thanasarnsombat Pattana.

However, trader Thanaporn Sapien said she and other vendors had run their stalls there more than 10 years. After Sunday Holdings went bankrupt, they continued to pay their Bt300 a day rent to SRT until a few months ago when electricity and water were cut off.

“We jointly lodged a complaint with the Civil Court on October 27, which issued an injunction barring any forced removal and the cutting off of the electricity and water,” she said.

Police Division 2 deputy Maj-General Amnuay Nimmano yesterday asked Thanasarnsombat Pattana to refrain from further action until the parties had met.

Amnuay said representatives from the Legal Execution Department and SRT would settle the dispute.

SRT acting governor Thawil Samnakhon yesterday said Thana-sarnsombat Pattana bought the 12-year lease in March. Under the contract, the company must construct a building for tenants to trade in within two years or face a fine.

“Now, eight months have passed since the contract was granted,” Thawil said, adding that SRT and Thanasarnsombat Pattana had tried to find alternative sites for the vendors but received no cooperation.

Veera Udom, chair of the Sunday Market Cooperative, vowed to submit a petition to Privy Council President Prem Tinsulanonda at his house today.


1 Comment so far
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Just a note: it was the Sunday market that got trashed — not the big shopping complex itself. Unless you’re into ornamental fish and plants, you’ll still find all you need there.

Comment by letsgoeverywhere

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