PM Prayut to decide on calls for removal of national police chief

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Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Bangkok – The Prime Minister has responded to calls for the removal of the national police chief for what many consider to have been excessive use of force in the arrest of a former activist Buddhist monk.

The premier said on Monday that he, as the leader of the government, he would like to offer the public an apology for the police’s recent raid and arrest of 62-year-old Suwit Thongprasert, who was best known as Phra Buddha Issara — an activist monk defrocked last Thursday.

PM Prayut said that he realized the police’s action has had an impact on many, who viewed the arrest as an excessive use of force.

He stated that the police have planned an investigation into the arrest process and penalties will be laid upon those who are found guilty.

When asked if this investigation might even lead to the removal of the national police chief, the PM said that such a decision would be made by himself, although it would not be done because of pressure from any particular group.