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Air Force blasted for handing out disciplinary penalties to police-bashing officer


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST GROUP United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration yesterday (Aug. 18) posted online to condemn the military for allegedly standing in the way of democratic rule by delivering disciplinary penalties to an air force officer who has criticised police crackdowns on anti-Prayut street protesters.

On its Facebook page, the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration deplored the rare event in which the air force has reportedly punished the air force officer, identified as Pilot Officer Thanyathorn Thinmala, for vehemently criticising the police use of force against the protesters on Bangkok streets over the last several days.

Those street demonstrators have joined sustained moves to press Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down in the face of his alleged failures to effectively cope with the pandemic situation, thus causing surges in infection cases and fatalities.

The pro-democracy activist group has taken to task the air force for being opposed to democratic rule by handing out the disciplinary penalties to the pilot officer who had posted online to denounce the ”lowly acts” of the crowd-control police.

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On his Facebook page, Pilot Officer Thanyathorn tells the police to not ever involve his fellow air force officers in their committing the ”lowly acts” featuring the firing of tear gas and rubber bullets at street protesters, mostly being adolescents.

His rare comments online apparently followed news reports that some military units might probably be used in support of the crowd-control police’s missions to deter and disperse street protesters, especially those in the neighbourhood of Prayut’s residence in the premises of the First Infantry Regiment on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.

Pilot Officer Thanyathorn is reportedly being detained for an unknown period of time, having his routine flying exercises suspended for an unknown period of time and undergoing a three-day, ”high-degreed” disciplinary punishment.

Nevertheless, the air force has not as yet considered dismissing the pro-democracy pilot officer on disciplinary grounds as feared by critics on social media, according to an air force source.

He said the air force has merely disciplinarily punished him for making such undue criticisms online against the police.


Top: Masked image of Pilot Officer Thanyathorn who is undergoing disciplinary penalties. Photo: United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration Facbook page

Home Page: Protesters and police face off at a recently protest. Photo: Sanook.com



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