Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha on Monday ordered law enforcement to tighten gun ownership rules and crack down on drug use days after a mass shooting by a former police officer in a nursery that deeply shocked the country.
Four days after an ex-policeman dismissed for methamphetamine use killed 36 people, including 24 children, with a 9mm pistol and a knife before committing suicide 500 km northeast of Bangkok, the Thai Prime Minister ordered a stricter control on the license to carry weapons and users of hard drugs, particularly within the forces of order.
The massacre at the Uthai Sawan Nursery in northeast Thailand is one of the worst single-man child killings in recent history. humanity. The atrocity of the drama, in which 22 children aged 2 to 5 were killed one by one in the nursery with stabbing weapons while they slept, shocked Thailand and the whole world.
The killer, Panya Khamrap, was a 34-year-old former police sergeant who was due to stand trial these days for drug trafficking. Police said an autopsy of his body revealed no evidence of drug use at the time of his death.
Thursday’s drama is reminiscent in some ways of the mass shooting in Korat nearly three years ago 200 km northeast of Bangkok, when a soldier killed 29 people and injured around 60 others after an argument. around a commission on a real estate transaction.
Violent behaviors, mental health, drug use
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha, a former army chief who has been in power for eight years, on Monday asked the Thai authorities to carry out unannounced searches and biological tests within the administration but also the public in order to tracking illicit drug use, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said in a statement, adding that there was also talk of increasing efforts in drug treatment.
The Prime Minister has ordered relevant agencies to revoke the gun licenses of people known to have engaged in behavior that “threaten society” and “create chaos or cause trouble“, said Anucha Burapachaisri. Added to this is an intensification of the crackdown on the illegal arms trade, arms smuggling, and the use of illegal firearms.
Thai authorities plan to recall the weapons of officials and police officers who have misused them or behaved aggressively while on duty.
Regular psychological checks will also be made compulsory for applicants and holders of firearm permits, police chief General Damrongsak Kittprapas told reporters.
The Specter of Thaksin’s ‘War on Drugs’
Some observers like thecolumnist Pravit Rajanaphrukdenounce simplistic, opportunistic and potentially dangerous measures, especially when it comes to launching a new war on drugs.
The opposition has also criticized these measures, with some advocating for a more nuanced and in-depth approach, notably by strengthening psychological assistance within the army and police forces, and others calling for a stronger method.
The Pheu Thai party has notably promised to do better than the current government in terms of repression if the Thais carry it to power in the legislative elections next May, reports the Bangkok Post.
The main opposition party is the Thai Rak Thai reincarnation of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The latter had been strongly criticized in Thailand and within the international community for his famous “war on drugs” in the early 2000s which had killed more than 2,500 people, most of them victims of extra-judicial executions.
The per capita gun ownership rate is high in Thailand compared to other Southeast Asian countries. Illegal weapons, many of which come from countries torn by conflict, are common and often transported, like drugs, with the complicity of certain soldiers or members of the police force.
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Thai PM orders stricter controls on weapons and drugs
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