BANGKOK– Thai authorities will promptly get rid of roaming vagabonds and disorderly vendors who may only become eyesores to passers-by at one of Bangkok’s major tourist spots.Cambodian beggars arrested by Thai police in January in Bangkok are shown to the media at the Immigration Office.
Thailand’s Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan gave assurances to the House of Representatives on Thursday that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the police and other government agencies will quickly see to it that the Rattanakosin Island’s streets, canals and other public spots will remain clean, orderly and safe.
His comments followed an inquiry raised in the lower House by Puea Thai MP Chavalit Wichayasut, who produced a video clip to show a filthy, disorderly strip beside a canal and a sidewalk bazaar which opened at night.
Those spots are inside the Rattanakosin Island area, behind the Supreme Court compound, adjacent to Rajdamnern Avenue and near Sanam Luang ground.
“Look at those dumped, floating pieces of garbage in the canal located in the vicinity of the tourist-visited Grand Palace, the Supreme Court and Rattanakosin Hotel where foreign tourists usually stay.
“In one instance, a group of foreign passers-by saw a vagabond guy urinating in that canal. They embarrassingly looked away,” said the lawmaker.
Besides Thai vagabonds and beggars making a living in the Bangkok streets, there were also illegal immigrants who ate and slept on the sidewalks, Chavalit said.
The interior minister admitted that those homeless, jobless people may have appeared as eyesores to the tourists and said he will see to it that they will be given proper lodging and jobs, however.
Thailand which has considerably thrived on tourist industry is yet to be more visitable to tourists, over 23 millions of whom are speculated to come in a year after the ASEAN Economic Community opens in 2015.