On a broader note, the premier again appealed to all sides to participate in parliamentary efforts to find a way out of the current political standoff and ongoing street protests which he said are causing a strain on police and government officials as they attempt to keep order and prevent violence from breaking out at potential flashpoints.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan ocha, on Tuesday, condemned an attack on a Russian man in front of his 10-year-old daughter at an anti-government protest in Pattaya on Sunday night. The government leader made a passionate appeal for everyone in Thailand to take responsibility for preserving peace while also pointing out that foreigners are not, in any way, involved in the struggle.
Following the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Thai Prime Minister, Prayut Chan ocha, made a passionate call for everyone in the kingdom to play their part in reducing tension between different factions and sides of the widening political divide.
General Prayut specifically referred to an incident on Sunday night where a Thai protest leader, Narathiwat ’Ken’ Khamma, furiously attacked a Russian man now named as 52-year-old Vladislav Timokin among a small crowd gathered near Jomtien Beach in Pattaya leaving him bloodied and his 10-year-old daughter hysterical.
Foreigners have nothing to do with Thailand’s political struggle says PM in a post-cabinet briefing
The PM told the press at Government House that foreigners in Thailand are not involved, in any way, with the ongoing political struggle although they do comment from time to time.
He also explained his concerns at the potential for trouble if rival groups of students and those with political differences clash. This required a continuous effort to be made to dampen tensions down among the public, he said.
He called for a commitment from everyone not to resort to violence.
In the last 24 hours, this comment has been echoed by national protest leader, Anon Nampa, who especially tasked guards involved in the student-led protests to ensure that they maintain a commitment to peaceful protest at all time as the best way to advance the interests of the cause.
Renewed call for protesters to take part in the parliamentary reconciliation process that has started
The Prime Minister called on all sides to participate in efforts, in parliament, to remove the sources of contention while respecting the law which the government must uphold.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chuan Leekpai, is currently driving this initiative trying to get as many parties around the table as possible but with limited success.
Prayut also appealed to news and media outlets, as well as reporters, to play their part in what they write.
He particularly asked them to have some regard for stressed and overworked government officials who are on the front line trying to manage the ongoing protests and ensure that everyone stays safe.
Protest leader who assaulted Russian appeared in online video to explain his side of the story
On Monday, the protest leader who assaulted the Russian man, Mr Narathiwat, appeared on an online video in which he told the public that there are two sides to every story.
Mr Narathiwat explained that the Russian man’s comments had provoked him and mentioned that foreigners did not seem to understand the plight of less well off people in Thailand.
Mr Narathiwat explained that, for him, a meal at ฿ 50 a day was something to be considered while the Russian did not have to think about spending ฿ 1,000.
Russian had harangued, heckled the small protest
Mr Narathiwat went on to explain that the Russian national had harangued him while addressing the sparsely attended rally in Pattaya. The foreigner had questioned the justification for the protest.
It is widely reported that Mr Timokin heckled the protest leaders indicating his disagreement with their activities.
The Russian attributed the widespread closure of business premises in Pattaya, in part, to the ongoing protest activities which he also is reported to have compared to a virus.
Police arrest man responsible for the assault
On Monday, after interviewing both the Russian man and the rally leader at Pattaya Police Station on Sunday night after the altercation, police arrested Mr Narathiwat ‘Ken’ Khamma on charges relating to the incident.
The press was briefed on Monday by Police Colonel Khemmarin Pissama, the Superintendent of Police at Pattaya Police Station.
He revealed that Mr Timokin had been hospitalised over the incident and warned that Mr Narathiwat could face additional charges if more serious injuries were diagnosed.
Mr Narathiwat subsequently released on bail of ฿10,000 after a protest outside Pattaya Police Station
One of the protest leaders at the rally on Sunday night, Sirawith ‘Ja New’ Serithiwat, said that he had been trying to reason with the Russian man and get him to move away from the site of the protest when Mr Narathiwat confronted him. He said he was not acquainted with the other protest speaker.
Mr Narathiwat appeared visibly incensed and walked up to the man saying: ‘Did you talk down to me or did you talk normal to me’ as he approached him and then, suddenly, leaned in and hit him with the top of his head in a headbutt.
The Russian man appeared momentarily stunned and then afterwards wiped his nose which was bleeding while his daughter became hysterical.
Following Mr Narathiwat’s arrest on Monday, he was later released on bail of ฿10,000 following a protest outside the police station by anti-government demonstrators.