By Thai Newsroom Reporters
IN A RARE COMMENT on government action, Palang Pracharath leader Prawit Wongsuwan today (Mar.15) expressed his dissent to a use of force by police against an elderly woman in the presence of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
That referred to Monday’s event in which the lone woman, namely Wanthana Othong, 62, was shouting explicit words and raising a three-finger salute at Prayut in a prearranged venue during his visit to Baan Pong district of Ratchaburi.
A policeman, assigned among others to provide security for the visiting premier, quickly shut up the woman protester with a hand used to forcefully cover her mouth, an arm locked around her neck as she was dragged off the scene.
Prawit remarked Prayut, who definitely is a political figure, should have lent an ear to protesters who may have opposing views and said he personally disagreed with the use of force and prosecution against any of them.
The Palang Pracharath boss who concurrently performs as deputy prime minister said the country has been divided by conflict of opinion among groups of people for so long.
However, Prayut earlier shrugged off criticism in response to the police handling of the brief protest situation during his “official” visit to the western province and said only few were affected.
Both Prawit and Prayut are contesting an upcoming general election as sole partisan contender for prime minister under the Palang Pracharath and Ruam Thai Sang Chart banners respectively.
Whilst the pro-Prayut party is primarily instrumental to ultra-conservatism as opposed to liberalism, Prawit’s camp is apparently stepping beyond conflict and getting prepared for a compromise.
Police and security personnel use force against the elderly woman, Wanthana Othong, after she staged a protest against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, image inset in above photo. All photos: Matichon