Markets set to close near “angry Aunts”
THE BANGKOK Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will not allow markets to operate in a Prawet housing estate until the Central Administrative Court issues a verdict on the case, after two sisters caught media attention in their violent protest against illegal parking, noise and other problems.
If the court does not ban markets in the area, there is a possibility that the BMA will allow the markets to resume business. It has already announced that operators can contact relevant authorities to get a proper licence. The Saengyoktrakarn family petitioned the court for help after they damaged a pickup truck that was parked blocking the entrance gate to their home. They accused the Bangkok governor of failing to keep the Seri Villa housing project as a housing zone.
“This is not a zone for commercial activities,” Boonsri Saengyok-trakarn said yesterday. She and her sister are widely referred to as “furious aunts” after they attacked a pickup that had parked in front of their house gate last month with an axe and a shovel. Their assault on the pickup was recorded on video clips and uploaded on the Internet. As the clips went viral, initial condemnation has changed into sympathy for what the family had had to endure as a result of illegal markets around their home. They said shoppers often parked in front of their gate without regard for the people living inside. In response to their action, the BMA temporarily closed all five markets around the Saengyok-trakarn’s house. However, the respite may be short-lived as the Prawet District Office and Bangkok Governor Pol General Aswin Kwanmuang has advised operators of illegal markets around the family’s home to seek a licence.
“We have sympathy for vendors at the markets. They couldn’t have known that the places were illegal,” Aswin said before he headed to the Central Administrative Court to testify. On leaving the court, he said the markets would remain closed at least until the court issued a verdict. The operators of at least two illegal markets have already asked the Prawet District Office to grant them licences. According to Aswin, it is possible to modify and adjust the market operations to make them legal. Aswin said he would receive a report on the illegal markets on Monday, which he would then pass on to the court.