Protest Leaders Urge Guards to Show Restraint & Apologise For Attack on Russian

Thai Protesters

Arnon Nampa, who plays a key role in the anti-government protests, has urged demonstration guards to stick to a peaceful approach, saying this will help the movement achieve success.

Mr Nampa wrote on his Facebook account that he received this advice from “an aunt next door” while discussing politics over dinner in Chiang Mai.

“Last night, while I drank wine which an aunt next door brought me to go with barbecued pork, we discussed a wide range of political topics.”

“She said if guards on the front line stick to a peaceful approach and do not break ranks, we will win,” Mr Nampa said.

“I slept on it and agreed. The front line which the dictatorship wants to delegitimise is guards. If our guards break ranks and get involved in clashes or do anything that appears to be violent, this will deal a blow to the entire movement. On the contrary, if guards remain calm and use peaceful means, we will win,” Mr Nampa said.

He made the remark after a clip of a man throwing what appeared to be a smoke bomb during an anti-government protest on Sunday was shown on social media.

Piyarat Chongthep, aka Toto, the head of the “We Volunteer” group of security guards that provided security for the protesting People’s Movement, said on Facebook after the protest that coloured smoke bombs were used to counter the police use of high-pressure water cannons against protesters.

A Pattaya chapter of the anti-government People’s Movement on Tuesday issued a statement apologising for an incident in which a member head-butted and injured a 52-year-old Russian man during an argument in Pattaya on Sunday evening.

Narathiwat “Kane” Khamma was later arrested and faces criminal charges over the incident.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha warned both sides of the political conflict to avoid clashes and said the assault on the foreigner in Pattaya has seriously tarnished Thailand’s reputation.

In another development, House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said that the King Prajadhipok’s Institute has adjusted the two models for the proposed reconciliation committee.

Initially, parliament had chosen the first model, but the anti-government movement refused to take part.

Parliament is now seeking to combine the two models, bringing in “neutral representatives”.