On Sunday while in Nakhon Ratchasima, the PM accepted that lax military security had been a contributing factor to the extent of the carnage inflicted by the evil soldier who lashed out against the public out over a financial gripe.
The atrocity in Nakhon Ratchasima on Saturday carried out by 32-year-old Sergeant Major Jakrapanth Thomma, in which he gunned down 29 other people and injured 57 has caused outrage in Thailand with the public looking for answers. Thailand is experiencing what appears to be a rise in gun crime and murders in recent years which has led to a significant increase in insecurity among the public at a time when the kingdom is now also facing the very real threat of the coronavirus and a plummeting economy.
Thailand’s Prime Minister has appeared on national television in a pooled broadcast to outline plans to compensate victims and families of the victims of Saturday’s mass killing by a Thai army sergeant major who went rogue.
Thai cabinet and senior officials on Tuesday will wear black out of respect for those killed in the atrocity which has shaken the nation.
30 dead, 57 injured and a traumatised population
The killing binge, in which 30 were killed including the man himself, also left 57 people injured, many of them rushed into intensive care.
The rampage has left many people, either involved in the attack on a busy shopping centre in Thailand or friends, family and acquaintances of those killed, traumatised with many having developed psychological issues in its aftermath. It has also severely impacted members of extended families of the victims.
Thailand has often been described a close-knit society and it is difficult for western observers to understand the deep impact of the atrocity on the national psyche.
Government asks social media to take down harrowing footage as media blamed for coverage
Thai media are reporting instances of friends who were in audiovisual contact with some of the victims of the massacre through popular social media apps and who subsequently saw clips and footage bodies of their loved ones or acquaintances.
The shooting has led to requests from the Thai government to social media sites to remove upsetting footage.
It has also led to calls for a crackdown and sanctions on TV channels that continued to cover the atrocity hours after being requested to suspend live coverage by Thai security services out of fear that the footage could have assisted the killer to outwit soldiers and police while he was still at large.
January survey already saw 68% of people feeling insecure with over half blaming it on the economy
The mass killing comes less than a month after a reputable poll conducted by Suan Dusit at Rajabhat University reported that nearly 68% of Thai people felt that they were now living in a less secure society.
That survey came after an earlier mass killing in Lopburi on January 6th when 3 people were killed including a 2-year-old little boy.
Police later a respected school director was arrested. The man, dressed in military fatigues, later told police he carried out the killing for kicks.
The poll revealed that 54% felt the deterioration in personal security was due to the economy while nearly 22% blamed the government for failing to tackle economic issues.
The survey showed that over 18% blamed a lack of morals while over 14% said that laws were not being properly enforced.
PM has highlighted lax army security as a contributory factor in the extent of the death toll
Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Thai prime minister who is also the Thai Defence Minister, accepted that security at the arms depot where the soldier had managed to obtain high-grade military weaponry was lax and that this ultimately had contributed to the high number of people killed and injured.
Military Security review ordered by General Prayut
The PM has ordered an official review of the situation.
‘All I can say is if we had fully followed the standard security procedure, we would have been able to mitigate the degree of violence,’ he pointed out.
An insight into the situation was given by Thai Army Chief General Apirat Kongsompong who explained that the soldier had stolen the weapons from the army depot by taking advantage of fellow soldiers who trusted him and would not have believed that he could be capable of carrying out such heinous acts.
3 elite police commandos killed by the soldier crazed with anger over losing out in a property deal
It has also emerged that among the 30 people killed, there were three policemen from elite commando units killed in efforts to take out the killer.
Memorial services were held on Monday with full ceremonial honours for two of the policemen who fell while tackling the rogue soldier on Sunday morning last.
These were Police Capt Trakul Tha-asa and Police Senior Sergeant Major Petcharat Kamchadphai. Both officers were 35 years of age.
The ceremonies were attended by a representative of the Thai King, the Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha, the Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and the Thai National Chief of Police, General Chakthip Chaijinda.
General Prayut spent Sunday visiting victims of the outrage and explained that authorities on Saturday had to act cautiously to reduce the risk to the public in the vicinity and precincts of the Terminal 21 Shopping Centre.
This was in response to questions over the length of time taken to finally terminate the gunman.
Sale of a house led to 3 days of wrangling with commander before the Sergeant Major lost the plot
The Prime Minister confirmed that the reason for the outburst was the killer’s anger over a property deal that went wrong. The non commissioned officer felt that he had been cheated out of money over the proceeds of a house sale.
The man’s anger had risen over three days of wrangling until he finally exploded and took his revenge on his commanding officer and later the public in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Furious attack began at the home of Colonel Anantharot Krasae who was murdered by the soldier
The furious attack had begun at the home of his commanding officer Colonel Anantharot Krasae who was murdered together with a 63-year-old woman.
Sergeant Major Jakrapanth then led to his military-type assault on the public at the Terminal 21 Shopping Centre where he arrived on Saturday evening at approximately 6 pm to take lives.
The now-deceased soldier whose anger had transformed him into another monster left a chilling message on his Facebook page before carrying out the attack in which he appeared to attack wealthy and avaricious people: ‘Do they think they can spend the money in hell?’
+ Crazed Thai soldier kills 17 and takes hostages in Nakhon Ratchasima – broadcast on Facebook – Army tactical team on the way to deal with the situation.https://www.thaiexaminer.com/thai-news-foreigners/2020/02/08/thai-soldier-attacks-terminal-21-shopping-centre-nakhon-ratchasima-17-dead/James Morris reports from Nakhon Ratchasima Province
Posted by ThaiExaminer.com on Saturday, February 8, 2020