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Angry women talk to Army officers at today's 'peace talks' on Phuket

UPDATE Independent Team to Probe Phuket Deaths, Siege at Police Station

Sunday, October 11, 2015
VIDEO The Battle for Phuket's Thalang Police Station

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1&v=P6ZURGrYyqY

UPDATING All Day, Every Day

PHUKET: A 30-day independent investigation was proposed and accepted today following a riot which led to a Phuket police station having windows smashed and cars torched.

Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada reached agreement on the terms of the investigation in talks with 10 community representatives at Baan Don school, not far from the Thalang Police Station in central Phuket.

Phuketwan learned today that 14 police were injured by protesters last night. Photographs of the injured police are in the album that accompanies this article.

About 80 police attempted to control the riot before a contingent of soliders arrived to restore order.

As well as nine destroyed cars, 13 others were damaged. Five motorcycles were also damaged.

The governor said today that the bodies of two young men, Patomwat Panarak, 22, and Teerapong Srisamut, 17, who died as a result of a police pursuit yesterday, would be autopsied to ascertain the cause of death.

Relatives said they remained puzzled why it took an ambulance 30 minutes to attend and why police sought to clear people away from the scene of the fatal crash.

Army officers and family representatives will act as observers during the 30 day investigation by doctors, police, a vice governor and other officials.

No guarantee could be given that there would be no charges laid over the broken windows and the torched cars, the governor said. Charges are also likely to be laid over the assault of police.

Army Major General Theenajak Jindange, who settled the 15-hour riot after he arrived at 3.30am with a contingent of 200 soldiers, told the protesters they needed to be more sensitive to tourism because Phuket was such an important part of Thaland's economy.

''If you damage your cooking rice, what will you eat,'' he said. Four police officers that the villagers wanted to confront over the deaths of the young men have already been transferred off Phuket.

Original Report

PHUKET: ''Peace talks'' began today at a school near the Phuket police station where residents torched cars and brought mayhem to the Thai holiday island for 15 hours.

A man sidled up to a Phuketwan reporter as a crowd grew at the school and an armed detachment of soldiers stood ready nearby.

''Be careful today,'' he said in English. ''If this crowd gets the policemen, they will kill them.''

Anger was obvious on the faces of women especially as they talked to two Army officers, anticipating the arrival of Phuket's governor who will be expected to negotiate a solution.

Baying for blood, an angry crowd of local residents besieged Phuket's Thalang Police Station for 15 hours until the intervention of soldiers about 3.30am brought the mayhem to an end.

Women were still obviously grieving and shouting today at the schoolyard over the deaths of two young local men in a motorcycle crash yesterday morning, a crash that the locals blame on the pursuing police.

The crowd was growing again today at Baan Don school. Telephone cameras were being raised as the crowd surrounded two Army officers, who had at their backs several soldiers, with more around a corner, assembled on the school netball court.

The anarchic display by villagers is a Phuket tradition but blockading streets - especially those that tourists use to get to and from Phuket International Airport - is frowned on by the authorities.

The crowd last night wanted to talk to the police and demanded an apology for what had happened. But clearly, that's not something that the Army and authorities can permit to happen.

''We don't want police on Phuket island,'' one woman yelled. ''They are all corrupt.''

The 22-year-old who was killed was the family's only child. The 17 year-old was the youngest child of another family.

Drinking the illicit leaves of the kratom plant was a regular habit of the young, protesters said. But the two young men were good young men and did not get involved with harder drugs, they said.

The deaths were the latest and most significant breach of standards by the police and intolerable, demonstrators told the officers in advance of the governor's arrival.

At 10.15am, talks began inside a sports building at the school, with speeches being relayed to the crowd by loudspeaker. There were cheers as some points were made.

The father of the 22-year-old said: ''I have only one son. What can I get that will ne the equivalent of my son's life?

''Do you how much pain I feel inside today? What is my future?''

The 15 hours of anarchy overnight led to Phuket's main road being blocked and some passengers missing their flights but is not expected to have an effect on tourism.

The crowd continued to grow for today's peace talks but the atmosphere was more picnic-like than revolutionary, even if shouts and cheers greeted every mention of it being time to bring an end to police corruption on Phuket.

And fortunately, the only killing was the one being made by the mobile ice cream salesman who was doing a roaring trade.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Just a couple of simple questions.

Why would "Good" boys refuse to stop and run from the Police?

What were the "Good" boys attempting to hide?

Posted by Robert on October 11, 2015 13:27

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Robert,

allegedly 50pcs. of YaBa pills were found of them - that probably explains why they fled. However,to plant smth. like this to justify chase is soo easy.

In every country to run from the police is not a good idea,most likely they will give a chase, and actually disproportional chase with shooting over wheels and not only,however in developed countries (I'm not sure whether US should be acknowledged as developed one in terms of police brutality),police has a strict protocol to avoid disproportional damage.


Compiling various sources,it seems that police vehicle and a motorbike with two deceased on have collided,that brought a fatal crash. Exact circumstances are unclear.
It seems that it could be that police vehicle on purpose tarnished a bike to make it to a standstill position,however this action had a side effect of two deaths.. - and it seems that a protest is aboutabout choice of apparently disproportional method to stop fleeing folks.

It is not unknown disproportional treatment of accused in Thailand: first,legal tradition until the beginning of 20th century was to treat every accused as a guilty,ostracise and denigrate him,and virtually all conviction were long as there was no Penal code whatsoever.
And it to some degree continues until now,combined with a special standing of RTP and that,in fact,it is virtuunaccountable,except for political causes.

Posted by Sue on October 11, 2015 13:51

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They didn't necessary attempt to hide something. I recently talked with two young Thais about these new checkpoints and they told me a few scary things. Magic tricks where suddenly drugs are pulled out of your empty pocket. Magic drinking water that makes you fail urine drug test. Fingernails poking your legs while searching your pockets. These stories don't even have to be true to make you being afraid of police. Add a bit of guilt by being high on herb to feel really uncomfortable.

Posted by Somsom on October 11, 2015 14:36

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Sue,
"on purpose tarnished a bike to make it to a standstill position".

The most interesting use of words since we were introduced to "kicking tools" which we now know had 3 different references during a recent Bangla night club extraction.

Posted by MoW on October 11, 2015 16:07

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Wrong doings on both sided. First the boys should not have fled and second the police behaviour was not examplary either. The women were right, all the police are corrupt

Posted by Guenter Bellach on October 11, 2015 19:42

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There are many disputed facts about this incident that could go on and on. But overall, one of the least disputed facts is that the RTP have an ongoing (alleged) reputation for not handling cases with equanimity and perhaps that the normally law-abiding locals displaying such vehemence is indicative of the levels of frustration they (and many people) feel towards this seemingly corrupt organisation. Yes, there were hooligans, but many people felt 'entitled' to demonstrate. Burning cars is perhaps taking it too far, though.

Posted by Sam Wilko on October 11, 2015 21:24

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@ Guenter Bellach.
Are you opinied about Thalang police station?
If true, than the complete police force of Thalang police station has to be replaced.
Guess complete replacement anyway has to take place. That Thalang police force can not function anymore in that area.

Posted by Kurt on October 11, 2015 22:07

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Great report, thanks for it

Posted by SamC on October 11, 2015 23:37

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I would think the police should charge them with the manslaughter of the poor innocent person who died in the krabi ambulance that got stuck

Posted by Discover Thailand on October 12, 2015 01:22

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Seen the photos, quite a number of police officers have head injuries.
Why they not wear riot helmets, like in other countries?
I am always flabbercasted by the poor equipment provided to fire guards and riot police matters.

Posted by Kurt on October 12, 2015 12:15

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'We don't want the police on Phuket, they are all corrupt'. Bearing in mind one officer inside that police station had just recently been allowed back onto Phuket after having served his 'transfer' to the boonies that is Yala, I don't hold out much hope for their wish.

Posted by tamsyn on October 12, 2015 14:43


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