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Bangkok police blame insufficient manpower for failure to control Parliament road clashes

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/ เยาวชนปลดแอก - Free YOUTH

Police in Bangkok have admitted they had insufficient manpower to handle clashes that erupted at protests on Tuesday. Anti-government activists clashed with pro-establishment groups at the Kiakkai intersection in the capital, leading to at least 55 people being injured, including 6 who were shot, according to medical officials at the Erawan Medical Centre who attended to the wounded.

The police have come in for heavy criticism for their failure to prevent violence breaking out, despite having several water cannons at their disposal. Some members of the public and media have also slammed officers for deserting the scene when violence erupted between rival factions.

Piya Tawichai from the Metropolitan Police Bureau insists his officers did what they could, but were outnumbered.

“Officers finally retreated as their operations came under increasing pressure.”

Meanwhile, Yingyot Thepjamnong from the Royal Thai Police denies officers broke international law by using tear gas. He too has admitted there were not enough officers present at the Kiakkai intersection, saying many had been deployed to areas around the Parliament building.

He adds that police have yet to receive a number of bullet shells found at the scene, which could serve as potential evidence. Police have denied using live ammunition or rubber bullets against protesters despite evidence of police carrying weapons that could fire both. One pro-royalist protester has been arrested for carrying a gun at the protest.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Fabian

    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Ah yes.. of course, when the groups were about to clash the whole police squadron’s attention was suddenly needed elsewhere because they had to help an elderly lady with a cute puppy cross the street.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:25 pm

      OK Fabian, maybe you could give your expert opinion of what they should have done, the equipment required, etc.

      … or maybe not.

      • Avatar

        Fabian

        Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:43 pm

        I can, but I know it’s not going to change your expert opinion.

        Very simple, they should have stayed there in between the two groups, avoiding the clash. Arrest violent ones from both sides. That’s what they are paid for, not for running of cowardly and let an escalation happen.

        • Avatar

          Fabian

          Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 1:04 pm

          Somehow to me it’s more important that the police tries to avoid clashes between protesters than trying to protect a bunch of elite autocrats in a parliament building who are not supposed to even be there.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 6:44 pm

            The “elite autocrats”, like them or not, were there doing the job they’re paid to do and most of whom were elected to do.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 6:42 pm

          I no longer have an “expert opinion” as I’m over 20 years out of date, and although the tactics haven’t changed some of the technology has which I’m not up to date on.

          Your opinion, though, “expert” or not, is simply and all too obviously beyond stupid.

          There is no possibility that they could have “arrested violent ones from both sides”; they weren’t equipped for it, would have needed four times the manpower to “avoid the clash” as they would have been between two groups, had no means of holding anyone they “arrested”, and by remaining they would have escalated the situation way beyond what happened.

          With the numbers they had, they would have been cut off and isolated so would have had two choices:

          1. Be quickly overpowered by the numbers on both sides and lose their weapons to the protesters to use on each other, which includes not only tear gas and FRGs but small arms and live ammunition.

          2. Open fire at close range, first with FRGs and baton rounds, then with small arms.

          Either way the situation would have been unavoidably escalated way beyond the level that it was. You don’t really need any expertise to understand that, just to have a grain of intelligence and to think about it.

          • Avatar

            Fabian

            Friday, November 20, 2020 at 10:36 am

            Elite autocrats are doing there jobs haha.. Yeah, a serial killer also does his jobs, that doesn’t make it right he kills people. (the whole idea of an autocrat elite is that they don’t get elected, at least in a fair way).

            Anyway, you see very different things at the rallies than I do (and apparently Human Rights Watch) so it’s a bit useless to discuss if we can’t even agree on what the facts are.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    As I said elsewhere, it’s ‘lose-lose’ for the RTP.

    If they’d deployed more manpower they’d have been accused of intimidation and provocation, if they didn’t deploy enough they’d be blamed for not keeping the two sides apart (which requires double the ‘standard’ manpower).

    Under the circumstances they did a good job and showed commendable restraint.

    • Avatar

      Galaxy

      Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      “Under the circumstances they did a good job and showed commendable restraint”
      Maybe you should give them a tip, or the typical “Cup of tee”. NO?

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    … and FWIW, there is no “international law” on the use of “tear gas” by police to control civil disturbances, whether using CS, CN or CR.

    The only “international law” on the use of “tear gas” is on its use by the military in armed conflict, where it’s banned.

    … and ‘yes’, I realise it’s absurd that the military are banned from using it on each other in wartime but it can be used on unarmed civilians in peacetime, but … well … that’s international law.

  4. Avatar

    Gosport

    Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The police did a great job. Let the two parties do the ugly things and police come, wrap all rioters up. Easy, Sabai now.

  5. Avatar

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    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:36 pm

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