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 Police chief claims he did not apologise to anti-establishment protesters

The national police chief, Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsook, said today (Wednesday) that he had not offered an apology to the demonstrators attending a protest at Sanam Luang on Saturday, explaining that he had merely apologised for mistakes that might have been made by the police during the confrontation with them.

“What I said was, if the police made any mistakes, we owe an apology,” said the police chief.

He insisted that any protester who breaks the law will be dealt with according to the law, as he warned the protesters not to resort to violence which, he said, would not benefit anyone, adding that police are not in conflict with the protesters, but that they must enforce the law.

Referring to the planned protest this evening at Ratchaprasong intersection, by the United Front for Thammasat and Demonstration, a faction of the Ratsadon group, the police chief said that his officers are ready to cope with the protest adding, however, that the officers have been reminded to follow the rules of engagement strictly and to use crowd-control equipment only if it is absolutely necessary.

He also made clear that police would not resort to the use of force if the protest is peaceful and does not cause trouble for the public. He did not, however, give a direct answer when asked whether police would use rubber bullets or teargas, saying only that it would depend on the situation.

Water cannons and prison transport trucks are on standby in the compound of the Royal Thai Police HQ.

Meanwhile, Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said this afternoon that any protest this evening would be against the terms of the Emergency Decree, as he warned followers of the Ratsadon group and the public to avoid the area.

He warned that police would strictly enforce the law if the protest turns violent, adding that police have not yet asked the sky-train service to suspend operations.


Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)