Thai police chief apologises for rough handling of some protesters on Saturday night

Thailand’s national police commissioner, Pol.Gen. Suwat Jangyodsuk, offered a public apology today (Monday) for the police’s rough handling of some of the anti-establishment protesters in and near Sanam Luang on Saturday night.

He admitted that there were some mistakes made on the part of the police and promised to make amends, adding that he would prefer not to see similar occurrences at future protests.

Referring to the clash between police and protesters at Wan Chart Bridge, the police chief said he can’t say that there were no mistakes made by the police, but asked the public to view the protest in terms of the big picture, not just specific incidents.

He admitted that he ordered police to rush to the Wan Chart Bridge, to rescue officers in a police van, after he learned that the vehicle was being attacked and the officers inside assaulted.

He promised an investigation into the incident.

During the protest, police used water cannons, teargas and rubber bullets in efforts to disperse the protesters, after some of them tried to break through the barricade of cargo containers erected at Sanam Luang. Over 20 policemen, protesters and newsmen were injured during clashes.

After chairing a meeting with security officials, to assess the protest situation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that several groups of protesters had joined the demonstration on Saturday night, with some of them prone to violence, adding that the responsibility of the government is to ensure safety for all protesters.

He said that he is more worried about some protesters who dislike him personally and who may cause violence. He said that he has instructed his legal team to explore the taking of action against some netizens who have harassed his daughters on social media because they dislike him, but are picking on his daughters instead.

He also expressed concern for the safety of media who cover violent protests, urging them to exercise caution, because most of them are reporting from among the protesters.

The prime minister questioned why some media only presented the police in a negative light, such as police beating protesters, but fail to present similar mistreatment of the police by the protesters.


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