Prayut tells Bangkok vocational students to stop violence

Photo via Google.

After police found more than 32 knives, and gun ammunition at one Bangkok university on Thursday, PM Prayut has called on students and alumni to end to the violence. Police searched the school grounds of the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology after a video of students firing guns into the air went viral on Wednesday.

Uthenthawai is one of many Thai vocational universities notorious for violence based on school rivalries.

In 2016, police found two handguns and ammunition, 55 knives, six bulletproof vests, and materials for making nail bombs, also on the Uthenthawai campus. Many videos show students at Uthenthawai and other vocational schools fighting each other. Sometimes, the fighting happens on public transportation routes where students run into each other.

One former Uthenthawai student told VICE in an interview that when he saw a student from the Pathumwan Institute of Technology, Uthenthawai’s arch rival, they had to fight each other, and there was no question about it.

Students have been killed in drive-by shootings and train stations, and beaten and chased on streets. The former student said senior students often encourage younger students to fight, and show them how to carry guns and hide knives from police. One researcher who interviewed 32 students involved in fights said it usually wasn’t clear what they were trying to avenge.

PM Prayut said yesterday, “For all alumni and students, I think it’s enough.”

Source: The Phuket News | Bangkok Post | VICE

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.