June 5, 2009

Vendors hurl stink bombs at redevelopers

Authorities in Bangkok said vendors at an outdoor market hurled fish-powered homemade stink bombs to ward off redevelopment workers and police.

Police said the incident began Thursday when about 100 vendors from the Klong Toey market attempted to prevent Legal Profession Co. redevelopers from setting up temporary tents to replace the market's usual stalls, the Bangkok Post reported Friday.

The vendors fear evictions could result from the redevelopment after the Port Authority of Thailand, which owns the land that hosts the market, refused to renew contracts with three former market operators.

Police said about 300 officers arrived to protect the redevelopment workers, but the protesting vendors, whose numbers grew to about 300 during the course of the day, formed a human shield of female vendors and attempted to ward off the police and workers with stink bombs made from pla ra, or fermented fish.

The incident caused heavy traffic congestion as the group of vendors spilled into a nearby intersection.

Police said one man, pork vendor Suwit Ngamtuen, 32, was arrested during the incident.