Opponents of the housing project for judges at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain kicked off a protest march from Chiang Mai to Bangkok to petition Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to invoke his special power under Section 44 of the interim Constitution to scrap the project.
Led by Mr Krit Yiammetha, Mr Direk Chantharadilok and Mr Sarut Srithavorn of the Network to Reclaim Dui Suthep Forest, the protest marchers gathered at about 6 am today (April 4) at the monument of three former Lanna kings in Muang district for a ritual to present alms to monks before the launch of the long march to Bangkok covering a total distance of 696 kilometre.
The protesters walked along the Phra Pokklao road through the Chiang Mai gate, turning left into Ratchiangsaen and Moon Muang roads to Pratu Tha Pae into Chiang Mai-Lampang highway.
The group planned to walk about 50 kilometres a day and the first stop was set at Mae Tha district of Lamphun. During the long march, the group will campaign to urge people to be aware of the importance of preserving the Doi Suthep-Pui forest which is regarded as an important forest of Chiang Mai.
On Tuesday (April 3), Prime Minister Prayut said that the security agency would try to resolve the problem in a proper way and would try to restore the area back to its original status.
He said that the government, the National Council for Peace and Order and the judiciary had been working out a solution to the issue.