CHIANGRAI TIMES –Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha has rejected a call by the mother of a volunteer medic killed during the political violence in 2010 for him to apologize. He yesterday said he had already expressed his condolences to those directly affected by the political violence from March to May in 2010.
“I sent my condolences to the families of those who died. And among the victims were soldiers. Is there anyone who wants to apologize to them?” Gen Prayuth said.
The army chief was responding to a report that Payao Akkahad, mother of Kamolkate who was gunned down inside Wat Pathum Wanaram on May 19, 2010, would lodge a petition demanding an apology from both the army and the government.
She said although the Yingluck Shinawatra administration was not involved in the operation to crack down on the red shirts in 2010, on behalf of the government of Thailand, it should apologise to the victims to show the deaths were the fault of government officials.
Gen Prayuth said that fairness must be ensured for both sides while expressing support for the rehabilitation scheme for the victims.
He insisted soldiers were simply doing their job during the operations.
“When they perform their duty, they must do their best. It is a military requirement. If there are things that lead to violence and divisiveness, they must be tackled in other processes,” he said.
He also denounced attempts to create divisions between the military and the people, saying it would put the nation in jeopardy.
Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat yesterday called on those directly affected by the political violence to make sure they sued the right people.
He said the Pheu Thai-led administration did not bar victims from filing lawsuits against individuals who they believed should be held responsible.
“They can sue the individuals involved. But they shouldn’t sue the government which pays compensation.
“In fact, they can sue the government if they want. It depends on the court to decide,” he said.
The families of some victims have become upset on learning that they would have to drop lawsuits against the state to receive payouts. – Writer: Wassana Nanuam