Thai Police Chief Also Vows to ‘Personally’ Crack Down on Anti-Monarchy, Rotten ‘Tomatoes’

Originally published at Siam Voices on November 2, 2010

After the commander-in-chief of the Thai army Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha insisted over and over again that his top priority task is to protect the monarchy, national police chief Wichean Potephosree didn’t want to be outdone and has announced this:

The police chief warned that those trying to challenge and abuse the monarchy would face the full wrath of the police force. He also said he took the issue seriously on a personal level. “With 25 years in service at the Office of the Royal Court Security Police, I am seriously concerned about this issue,” he told the Bangkok Post.

He said all police officers were duty-bound to arrest anybody who tried to bring down the monarchy and to protect the royal institution.

Wichean Takes It Personally“, Bangkok Post, November 1, 2010

To underline his determination, he also promises this:

Other projects he has promised to implement in the next six months are to “clean up the house”, foster unity in the force and improve services at police stations.

Police were criticised during the anti-government rally led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship from March to mid-May. Many described them as complacent, of ignoring orders to put an end to the protest and even of sympathising with the demonstrators.

Pol Gen Wichean admitted the existence of “tomato” police, a term used to describe red shirt sympathisers within the force. “But I strongly believe that police officers who do not take sides can survive,” he said.

Wichean Takes It Personally“, Bangkok Post, November 1, 2010

While Prayuth takes care of the so-called ‘watermelon soldiers‘, Wichean makes sure that his rotten ‘tomatoes’ in the police force are being sorted out. With the these clear statements, both chiefs are preparing to set their forces align with the political stand of the current government and even if there’ll be a new one eventually, the forces will fight to keep this stand alive.