Ruling Palang Pracharat Party MP Sira Jenjaka expressed disappointment in Mr Visan’s actions. He pointed out that he was a former deputy commerce minister. He also said that he could be prosecuted for bringing a weapon into parliament although the injured MP later revealed that he had borrowed it from a server in the complex before his shocking address to the chamber.
A Thai MP made a very personal statement in parliament on Tuesday when he produced a small knife and slashed his left hand and arm to show his outrage at the governments’ treatment of student protesters on the streets.
The Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, on Wednesday, expressed regret at the shocking incident in the Thai parliament on Tuesday during which an opposition Pheu Thai MP slashed his left arm and hand several times to protest against the government’s handling of the ongoing crisis and the way student-led protesters are being treated on the streets.
The PM said he understood that the action of the MP was a publicity stunt and that the media had been tipped off beforehand.
MP objected to the use of water cannon against protesters on the 16th October in Bangkok
64-year-old Visan Techatirawat, who represents the northern Thai city of Chiang Rai, said he was particularly appalled by the treatment of protesters on Friday the 16th of October at Pathum Wan in central Bangkok when police used water cannon firing water laced with chemical agents to disperse the young protesters.
The lawmaker then pulled a small fruit knife from his pocket in the parliament chamber and inflicted the wounds with three strokes.
He spoke at the same time, saying he did not wish to see the blood of students shed for a cause that has been left unresolved for too long. The MP referenced unrest in 1986 when making his comments.
Mr Visan reprimanded the current Prime Minister and said he should be busy listening to the demands of protesters.
Given medical first aid and required 8 stitches
Lawmakers within the chamber included those from Pheu Thai sitting near the MP, who reacted in horror as the House Speaker and former Thai Prime Minister, Chuan Leekpai, called on medical staff to render first aid to the public representative.
It is reported that the MP later required eight stitches to his arm.
‘I don’t sympathise with him. How could he pull a stunt like that in Parliament?’ said Bangkok MP
The situation led to a Thai senator calling for an adjournment after which Palang Pracharat Party MP for Bangkok, Sira Jenjaka, castigated the northern MP for his actions.
‘I don’t sympathise with him. How could he pull a stunt like that in Parliament? This MP must be prosecuted for carrying a weapon to Parliament,’ he said.
Mr Sira drew attention to the fact that the 64-year-old MP was a former deputy commerce minister but said that his actions reflected badly on the current Thai parliament and that carrying a weapon into the chamber was a breach of the law.
Mr Visan later revealed that he had borrowed the knife from an attendant in the building and had briefed his family before his protest action, in the House of Representatives, the lower and elected house of parliament, so that they would not be shocked.
Carla Boonkong is a magazine writer who writes extensively about woman's issues in Thailand. One of her key subjects is the story of Thailand's growing influence in the world and the role played by Thai women in the process. She is now a staff writer with Thai Examiner.com in Bangkok. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.