BANGKOK, 14 February 2014 The police’s operation to open the protest-occupied Changwattana road will continue on Saturday after talks failed. A high-ranking police officer has confirmed officers will not use force to disperse the protesters.
Commander of the Provincial Police Division 1 Pol.Lt.Gen.Nares Nanthachote said the police’s operation to reclaim Changwattana road from anti-government protesters on Friday was due to the protest’s effects on people in the area. They had suffered from the rally for a long time and intelligence had indicated that most of the violent incidents at the rally site were caused by the people’s resentment against the protest, the commander said.
Police officers had tried to negotiate with protest leader Phra Phuttha Itsara but they were turned down. On 15 February, the officers would therefore send eight companies of riot control police to talk to the protesters again and try to open the blocked road, the official said.
Pol.Lt.Gen.Nares added that a special team of officers would be deployed in case the protesters used weapons against the officers and confirmed they would not crack down on the protesters.