Sunday, December 15, 2019

Opposition look to grill PM over violent attack on political activist

Jun 30. 2019
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By The Nation

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The opposition will question Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday regarding Friday’s attack on political activist Sirawit Serithiwat, a Pheu Thai Party MP said on Sunday.

Jirayu Huangsap, a Bangkok MP for Pheu Thai, said his party would request an interpellation at the meeting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday to question the prime minister.

Thawee Sodsong, secretary-general of the Prachachart Party, said the opposition would also file a motion with House Speaker Chuan Leekpai for the setting up of a fact-finding committee to investigate the government’s use of power in this matter.

The opposition politician called on the relevant authorities to find the attackers as soon as possible, adding that such an incident was negatively affecting the country’s image.

"He had been under the close watch of authorities round the clock, so the fact that he got attacked twice recently raise suspicions that people in power may have been involved,” said Thawee, who also heads the opposition whips.

Both Thawee and Jirayu were among politicians from the seven-party opposition bloc who visited Sirawit at Ramathibodi Hospital, where the activist was being treated for injuries sustained in the attack.

Sirawit, who is better known in the media as “Ja New” (Sergeant New), was attacked around noon near his home by four men wearing crash helmets and carrying sticks. He suffered serious injuries, including a broken nose and a fracture of the eye socket.

His mother Patnaree Charnkit said on Sunday that Sirawit was to undergo an operation on his broken nose and eye.

She added that she felt better now that her son was showing signs of improvement and was under the care of medical experts.

Sirawit’s education adviser Pattarajit Chotikapanit said later on Sunday that the operation would involve insertion of medical equipment into his nostrils to rectify the broken nose.

Regarding his fractured eye socket, Pattarajit said he was still under observation and no surgery was needed at this point, as Sirawit’s eyesight was not affected.

Pattarajit was advising Sirawit about his upcoming trip to India on further education.

Meanwhile, the prime minister has instructed police to find the perpetrators of the attack on Sirawit, National Police chief Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda said on Sunday.

Chakthip chaired a meeting of senior police officers investigating the case at the Royal Thai Police headquarters.

He said “considerable progress” had been made in the investigation but added that the police needed more time to find the culprits. “The attack happened just two days ago," he said.

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