Chiang Rai’s Governor Mediates Truckers Protest at Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge
CHIANG KHONG – Governor Boonsong Techamaneesathit yesterday mediated talks with business operators holding a road block at the 4th Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge’s border pass in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district.
Angry business operators parked more than 10 cargo trucks in the middle of the road leading to the Chiang Khong border checkpoint. The protest came in response to Lao authorities’ decision to impound Thai cargo trucks at the goods transit point on the Lao border, since Thai operators refused to pay higher parking fees as demanded.
A freight transport operator said that there were more than 60 trucks stranded at the Lao border checkpoint. She disclosed Lao authorities had charged each truck entering Laos another 1,690 baht, in addition to the normal fee of 1,600 baht. Besides that, Thai operators have to pay another border fee at the Laos-China border. Operators claim the fee hike was imposed on them without prior notice. They asked that Lao authorities waive the extra fees for the time being.
Freight transport operators have insisted that the protest will continue until relevant bodies can solve the problem. Security officials are stationed at the Thai-Lao border checkpoint to facilitate the movement of traffic. Chiang Rai Governor Boonsong Techamaneesatit has called an urgent meeting with relevant agencies to discuss the issue.
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