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Police chief orders search for ‘instigator’ of Koh Tao protests

BANGKOK: National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda on Monday (Dec 28) announced that he had ordered police nationwide to find the supposed shadowy group that law enforcement insists is “instigating” protests over the Koh Tao murders ruling.

Myanmarhomicidecrimepolicepoliticsimmigrationviolencecorruption
By Bangkok Post

Monday 28 December 2015, 07:44PM


Police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said he ordered subordinates to look for a supposed mastermind behind Myanmar protests against the Koh Tao ruling. Photo: Bangkok Post / Pornprom Satrabhaya

Police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said he ordered subordinates to look for a supposed mastermind behind Myanmar protests against the Koh Tao ruling. Photo: Bangkok Post / Pornprom Satrabhaya

While Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry said no one group was behind the widespread protests and there was no evidence to support such a accusation, Thai police continue to assert that the outrage over the death sentences handed down to two Myanmar migrant workers is being stoked by groups trying to exploit the situation for political purposes.

Protests have taken place since Thursday (Dec 24) at the Thai embassy in Yangon, border areas opposite Chiang Rai and Kanchanaburi. On Monday, they spread to Sri Lanka, where monks from Myanmar demonstrated outside the Thai embassy in Colombo. Other small protests have been seen as far away as Japan.

“Only some groups are taking action to oppose the court ruling. In Thailand police are preventing it,” the police chief said.

He repeated reasoning made by police spokesman at a news conference Sunday (Dec 27) that there had been 126 previous murder convictions of Myanmar nationals in Thailand, yet only this one was sparking protest.

“Police are looking for the people who instigated it. I ordered all units related to security, especially the Special Branch division, to find the groups that are behind the demonstrations by Myanmar people,” Pol Gen Chakthip said, admitting he had “no idea” who the supposed instigators are or if they are even in Thailand.

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The pursuit of a supposed instigator of the protests is yet another sign that Thai officials have been put on the defensive by Thursday’s judgement, which has been seen by Myanmar citizens at the culmination of a year-long frame job of Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Htun for the September 2014 rape and murder of Hannah Witheridge and the murder of David Miller on Koh Tao.

A visibly angry Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha lashed out at protesters on Monday and Pol Gen Chakthip wondered aloud if Thais should start protesting decisions by Myanmar courts.

Widely seen as botched, the investigation was tainted by allegations of torture of the two 22-year-old men and mishandling of DNA evidence. Both Myanmar’s army chief and ambassador have called for the case to be reinvestigated, a request flatly denied by Thai officials.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

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Richard Vickers | 30 December 2015 - 18:17:15

After thinking more about this, I sure hope that the big'ol "Instigator" in this case doesn't happen to be some Burmese guy. If Chief Chakthip ends up arresting a Burmese or 2 on "Instigator" charges, people might think he was simply looking for a scapegoat to pin the crime on... but then...nah, everyone knows that Thailand would never do such a thing.

Richard Vickers | 30 December 2015 - 10:23:58

Great comments...but I think I'll keep mum, as I don't want to find myself sitting in a military facility getting my attitude adjusted. BUt I will say, that I think the root cause of the majority of problems in this beautiful country are because of the police. Until this police force is 100% gutted and replaced...nothing will get better here.

Christy Sweet | 29 December 2015 - 13:12:07

It's like Orwell mixed with Monty Python with a dash of Kafka.  

Richme | 29 December 2015 - 07:50:48

This is the true face from the 'leaders' of Thailand. Don't demonstrate your opinion, the 'leader' himself will be angry and upset.

cgtours | 29 December 2015 - 00:53:10

Where there is smoke it could be a fire.!

Seaturtle55 | 28 December 2015 - 22:24:51

I have always been a supporter for those whom I thought were trying to end corruption and bring about a return to what was the LOS where S stood for smiles!  But this attempt to blame protests against the conviction of the two Myanmar youths on some clandestine group when it is clearly the result of dissatisfaction with the conduct of the RTP and of a court who, rather than allowing transparency, ...

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