NEW National police chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas said in preparing to handle demonstrations taking place today (Oct. 1) those joining them are urged to not see policemen as their enemy because it is their duty to maintain law and order and if the protesters stick to the legal boundary there would not be any problems, Matichon newspaper said.
With the state of emergency decree having been revoked today police must now enforce the existing law, which is the Public Assembly Act, he said, adding that it is the fundamental right of the people to assemble but they must do so within the framework of the law.
Normal arrangements have been made to handle rallies with realistic assessment made based on information police received and protesters currently are well organised and staying within the legal framework, he said.
Mostly people misunderstand and put the police on the other side but in fact we stay in the middle, he added.
“Sometimes there is an offence upfront but it’s not appropriate to prosecute right away, so we may do so later to avoid clashes.
“As for firing water cannons and tear gas, we focus on protecting important places, if they don’t invade we don’t use them,” he said.
Top and Front Page: New National police chief Pol. Gen. Damrongsak Kittiprapas, left, and water cannons fired at demonstrators recently, right. The Thai headline says, “Standpoint on demonstrations.” Photo: Matichon