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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Thailand : Cabinet Approves Public Gathering Bill

    Cabinet Approves Public Gathering Bill
    4 May 2010

    The Cabinet endorsed a new Public Gathering bill which will regulate the requirements for the public to notify the government about any plans to gather, details on the venue and the number of people expected to attend.

    thailandoutlook.tv

  2. #2
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    similar to guidelines in western nations?

  3. #3
    Newbie Ken1954's Avatar
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    oooohhh errr lm having a BBQ on Saturday, at midday........is that OK...

  4. #4
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy
    similar to guidelines in western nations?
    perhaps you would like to expand on this ?

  5. #5
    Newbie Ken1954's Avatar
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    not to many people HONEST....im not really that popular.......

    and we have told everybody wear a PLAIN SHIRT....dont want to many problems

  6. #6
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    ^^expand on my question
    or
    on your question mark?

  7. #7
    Mid
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    your question as quoted by me .

  8. #8
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    are the proposals similar to the law pertaining to political gatherings and demonstrations that exist in say the UK?

  9. #9
    Mid
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    what laws exist in the UK ?


    edit :

    please stay on topic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Public Gathering bill

    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy
    political gatherings and demonstrations

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy
    similar to guidelines in western nations?
    perhaps you would like to expand on this ?
    I dont know how the system works in every western country, but here in my home state in Oz organizers of rallies and protests are required by law to request permission and give logistical details. I would assume it is similar in most developed western countries?

    The idea being to provide a reasonable forum for protesters in a public area while limiting the disruption to the general public.

    Thailand seems to lack any restrictions on protests until after they become too big and disruptive.

    That being said, I can see this proposed bill being abused for political purposes with some protests favourable to the government of the day being approved while those critical of the government being denied. Much like the media censorship we see in Thailand today.

    Enforcing such a law would be an entirely different matter.

  11. #11
    Mid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda
    rallies and protests
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Public Gathering bill
    there IS a difference

  12. #12
    Member Scaramanga's Avatar
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    Seems that the girls from now on will miss out on the social pee

  13. #13
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    I wonder how large or what the amount of people it is before it attains a public gathering status.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Panda
    rallies and protests
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    Public Gathering bill
    there IS a difference
    What exactly IS the difference then?

  15. #15
    Mid
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    ffs , not every public gathering is a rally or protest .

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    could be a concert
    or a football match
    presumably they mean political gathering

  17. #17
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    Burmese nationals in Phuket are not allowed to gather in public groups of 5 or more I believe.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by good2bhappy View Post
    could be a concert
    or a football match
    presumably they mean political gathering
    Large gatherings of people, even non-political gatherings such as concerts and football matches require at least local approval in western countries I believe, especially if they are likely to cause public inconvenience.

  19. #19
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    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...gathering-bill


    Civic groups slam public gathering bill

    Critics say law will be open to abuse

    • Published: 30/06/2010 at 12:00 AM
    • Newspaper section: News

    Civic networks and activists have condemned a proposed bill aimed at regulating public gatherings, saying it will stamp on citizens' rights to free speech and could be used for political persecution.

    Representatives from 16 civic networks yesterday expressed their views on the bill at a forum organised by Chulalongkorn University's political science faculty, the Human Rights Lawyers Association and the Union for Civil Liberty.

    The bill, drafted by the Royal Thai Police, was approved by the cabinet last October and will be forwarded for approval by the parliament during its next session.

    The draft bill requires demonstrators planning to hold a rally to inform the authorities at least 72 hours in advance. They also must seek police permission before moving to the rally site. Authorities will be empowered to ask the court to ban a rally if it is seen as violating the law.

    Protesters will be barred from rallying at or blocking the entrances of public agencies, hospitals, schools and transport terminals.

    Jintana Kaewkhao, a conservationist from Ban Krud in Prachuap Khiri Khan, said the bill will keep those suffering from environmental problems from having their voices heard.

    She said the requirement for protesters to seek advance approval from the authorities will cause unnecessary delays, especially when action is needed urgently, she said.

    Ms Jintana said the government wants to deal with warring political factions, but has been unable to do so.

    "Now small people like us have to bear the repercussions," she said.
    She said protesters who choose to attend a rally of their own volition should be distinguished from those mobilised by organisers with political aims.

    Baramee Chairat, a member of the Assembly of the Poor, said he believed the government will use the bill to control its opponents.

    "The bill will become a tool for the authorities to intimidate protesters, extort them and limit freedom of assembly," Mr Baramee said.
    Mongkol Yanam of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee said the bill will be well suited to a dictatorship.

    He doubted whether a bill regulating public gatherings will be any more useful than the emergency decree, which was ineffective in dealing with the red shirt protests.

    Phongsak Saiwan of the Network on Public Gathering for Social and Political Reform said the bill should be abandoned as it would limit the ability of underprivileged people to express their views in public.

    The bill will further empower the government to take action against citizens, Mr Phongsak said.

    Phong-anan Phokkhla from the Four Regions Slums Network said the bill was initiated by security officials who do not wish to work hard and a government that is afraid of being overthrown by its opponents.He also doubted whether the bill is practical. For example, he said the bill requires leaders of public gatherings to inform authorities of how long their rally will last. He said most protest leaders will not know this in advance.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  20. #20
    Mid
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    Opinion

    THAILAND: THE RIGHT TO STAGE PROTESTS
    Narun Popattanachai
    Narun Popattanachai is a lawyer at the Office of the Council of State. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Council of State.
    25/03/2011

    Demystifying the bill on public assembly


    The Public Gathering Bill successfully crossed the first parliamentary hurdle when its general principles and themes were approved by the lower house on March 10. Now it is under the House Select Committee's grilling process.

    Considering the fact that mass demonstrations have been employed as a powerful leverage tool for disillusioned protesters against the government, this bill, once enacted, is set to become a compulsory list of do's and don't's about how to stage a "lawful" public gathering.

    And here's how.

    First things first: it must be stated at the outset that organisers of a protest need no permission from the relevant authorities. All that is required in Section 10 of the bill is a notice to be filed within 72 hours of the meeting taking place, if there is likelihood that the gathering may cause disruption to others' enjoyment of public spaces.

    The delegated public agents (usually the police) are tasked with facilitating the activity or procession requested in the notice; for instance, by providing security guards and ensuring that the locals' way of life is least affected by the event. The practices set out in the bill seem to be in line with that of other signatories to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights such as in the United Kingdom, where a similar procedure of organising an assembly in a public space in the form of the UK Public Order Act has been in place since 1986. If everything thus far sounds as if the gatherers would still have a relatively smooth ride, think again.

    True, a permission per se is not expected. Yet if the nature of the protest falls within the ambit of Section 8, i.e. a gathering that blocks the entrance to royal places, state buildings, hospitals and schools during term time; or forces the public transport system to come to an abrupt halt, the government may file a request for a court's injunction ceasing the continuation of the rally. If past experience, especially of the closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport, the seizure of Government House and the occupation of Ratchaprasong intersection, is anything to go by, most of the future headline-grasping demonstrations would probably be caught by this section. Their legitimacy is thus at the mercy of the judges. Punishment for failing to abide by the court order is a maximum of six months' imprisonment or a 10,000-baht fine or both, for the organisers and the protesters alike. It remains to be seen, however, whether the sanction provisions in the bill will possess the desired deterrent effect, when much more draconian laws such as anti-terrorism provisions in the Criminal Code, the Internal Security Act and emergency decrees have all been used in the past with no avail.

    Next, the government makes it clear in several parts of the proposed bill that violence or instigation of it will not be tolerated. The leaders and the protesters are obligated to exercise utmost restraint and hence refrain from using force or threats of force, which is a blatant distortion of the right to peaceful association enshrined in Section 63 of the constitution. Any outliners could face up to a year in jail or a 20,000-baht fine or a combination of them. What's more, any unauthorised persons found in possession of guns, grenades or other substitutable devices may end up getting an even harsher sentence.

    The non-aggression policy adopted in the bill is all very well, but it would be rather naive to suggest that clashes of arms or acts of forceful intimidation can be initiated solely by the demonstrators; this is a two-way street. The officials, usually the riot police, play a crucial role in managing the situation so that it does not escalate into bloodshed. As clearly stated in Section 20, they must be specifically trained to, for example, put up with provocative gestures of the protesters while overseeing the gathering. If the court declares a protest illegitimate for whatever reasons and the protesters do not heed the judgement, the officials are entitled to "move in and disperse" the gathering.

    There are two pertinent points in relation to the role of officials. Firstly, in an attempt to recapture the public space occupied by the demonstration, Section 26 confers the prime minister the power to appoint any officials other than the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief and the provincial governor, as he sees fit to take charge. Is this an invitation for the army to step in? Most likely so.

    Secondly, sceptics may question the fact that provisions on the officials' liabilities are nowhere to be found. In response to this issue, the Council of State has pointed out that the necessity of such an inclusion is not present since there are other relevant laws in place, for instance, Section 157 of the Criminal Code. In other words, the officials will not be immunised from misusing the powers bestowed by the bill, a welcome relief for the gatherers.

    One must bear in mind that the details of the proposal may be altered as the bill goes through different stages in the legislative process, although the general principles and themes are likely to remain unchanged. Ultimately, the Public Gathering Bill is all about striking a proper balance between people's freedom of association and the government's task of preserving peace and order in society. If one is to ask whether the right balance has been set, the answer is probably yes. However, a much more difficult question is whether it would make any difference in the way disgruntled Thais congregate in protest against the government. The best we can do is to sit back, wait and see.

    bangkokpost.com

  21. #21
    Mid
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    House passes Public Gathering Bill
    27/04/2011

    The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Public Gathering Bill in the third reading with a vote of 217-8 with 41 abstentions and six "no votes".

    There are currently 474 MPs in the House of Representatives and at least 237 MPs are required to make a quorum.

    Most speakers were in support of Article 8 which states that a gathering must not block the entrances and exits of important installations particularly residences of the King, Queen and Crown Prince as well as royal visitors.

    A provision of the bill, as altered by the House of Representatives from the original draft, requires the organiser of a public gathering to seek permission from the head of the local police station 24 hours in advance of the starting time.

    The organiser is required to be present throughout the gathering to ensure peace and order, and end the rally at the time stipulated.

    If a breach of the law occurs, police can seek a court order to end the gathering.

    Article 20 requires police overseeing a gathering to undergo training in crowd control and use of anti-riot equipment.

    Article 22 stipulates the national police chief is the only person authorised to appoint police officers to oversee a gathering.

    The bill will be forwarded to the Senate for further deliberation.

    bangkokpost.com

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