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Hi-tech “peace-keeping”

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Anti- government protesters may have difficulty getting anywhere near important sites like Government House or Parliament. Riot police have many new and improved tools to keep them away. 

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Riot police say the new tools are needed to keep the peace. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Hi-tech “peace-keeping”

Traditional crowd control gear is going modern. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Government opponents say mass protests are planned if a blanket amnesty is passed by parliament or if the International Court of Justice rules against Thailand in the Preah Viharn dispute with Cambodia.

This time around, however, they may have difficulty getting anywhere near important sites like Government House or Parliament.

Pol Lt Col Sarayudh Arunchai, a Crowd Control Police Inspector at the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s Protection and Crowd Control Division, says riot police now have much better tools for keeping the peace.

Chief among them is a 25-million-baht state-of-the-art water cannon truck.

‘‘We have one water cannon vehicle imported from South Korea,’’ he said. ‘‘It is equipped with a high-pressure water cannon, which can be as effective in dispersing crowds as using tear gas.

‘‘The cannon has a 65m range, and can fire 1,650 litres per minute.’’

He said the truck is also equipped with five tear gas launchers, each capable of firing seven canisters at a time, with a range of about 100m.

If that isn't enough, police have a particularly nasty backup that should worry even the most determined protester.

Crowd control officers possess several high-tech sonic weapons known as Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD).

The water cannon truck and several police cars come equipped with the latest in LRAD technology and can unleash waves of targeted pain-inducing sounds on unruly crowds.

‘‘The model of LRAD we have [on the cannon truck] costs approximately 700,000 baht, but the ones attached to police cars are more effective and cost around 1.2 million baht,’’ Pol Lt Col Sarayudh said.

‘‘This weapon can focus in on a specific target. When we turn the device on a group, people staying out of range will not be affected at all.

‘‘But for those within range, this weapon can be harmful to auditory nerves and can permanently destroy people’s hearing.’’

Police are currently updating their tear gas and pepper spray stock with better quality products from the US. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Pol Lt Col Sarayudh says basic crowd control tools are also being improved. Police are currently updating their tear gas and pepper spray stock with better quality products from the US.

If all goes well, however, none of these options might be needed.

‘‘The best way to control a mob is to prevent police and the mob from facing each other directly. To achieve this, we use concrete barrier blocks which weigh one tonne each and are around 1.6m high,’’ he said. ‘‘They are also bulletproof to keep our officers safe.’’

Adapted from a story by Natta Thepbamrung in Sunday’s Bangkok Post. You can read the full, much longer, story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/376569/police-parade-new-toys-as-protesters-cry-overkill

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Vocabulary:

acoustic: related to sound or to the sense of hearing - เกี่ยวกับเสียง, เกี่ยวกับการควบคุมเสียง, เกี่ยวกับการฟัง

amnesty: a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime - การนิรโทษกรรม

approximately: used to show that something is almost, but not completely, accurate or correct - โดยประมาณ

attached: fasten or joined together - ติดกัน, ต่อ, ยึดติด

auditory: connected with hearing - เกี่ยวกับการได้ยินเสียง

backup: something that can be used when something else has failed or is not adequate - สำรอง

barrier: a wall, pile of sandbags, etc., that prevents water from entering - สิ่งกีดขวาง

basic: of the simplest kind or at the simplest level - พื้นฐาน, อันดับแรก, สำคัญ

blanket: affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง

block: a solid piece of stone, wood, ice etc with straight sides - ท่อนหิน, ท่อนไม้, ก้อนใหญ่, ชิ้นใหญ่

bulletproof: strong enough to not allow bullets to go through - กันกระสุน,ลูกกระสุนยิงไม่เข้า

canister: a round metal container that is used to hold gases or chemical substances under pressure - กระป๋องสเปรย์

capable: able to do something; very good at a job - มีความสามารถ

chief: main; most important - หลัก,สำคัญ

determined: wanting to do something very much and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop you - ตั้งใจจริง, ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น

device: a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร

disperse: to cause a crowd of people to separate and go away in different directions - สลายฝูงชน

dispute: a serious disagreement - การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง

effective: producing the result that was intended - ได้ผลดี

equipped: having what is necessary to do something - ครบครัน, ซึ่งมีเครื่องประกอบพร้อม

focus: to aim onto a particular point - เล็ง, เพ่ง

import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า

improve: to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น

induce: to cause something, especially a mental or physical change - ทำให้เกิด

inspector: an officer of middle rank in the police force - สารวัตร

launcher: a device that sends something such as a rocket or a missile into the air with force - สิ่งที่ใช้ปล่อย, เครื่องปล่อย

mass protest: a very large public gathering of people to protest against something - การชุมนุมประท้วงใหญ่

metropolitan police: the police in responsible for a city - ตำรวจนครบาล

mob: a large crowd of people, especially one that may become violent or cause trouble (the Thai sense of the word, however, refers to a large crowd gathered for a demonstration of some type. In this case, "crowd" or "gathering" is used in English.) - ฝูงชนที่กำลังสับสนอลหม่าน, ฝูงชนวุ่นวาย

nasty: bad or very unpleasant - อันตราย, น่าวิตก

nerve: One of the whitish and elastic bundles of fibers, with the accompanying tissues, which transmit nervous impulses between nerve centers and various parts of the animal body. - เส้นประสาท

opponent: someone who disagrees with you or who is competing against you - ผู้ไม่เห็นด้วยกับ, ฝ่ายตรงข้าม

option: a choice; something that you can choose in a particular situation - ทางเลือก

pain: the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick; mental or emotional suffering - ความเจ็บปวด

parliament: the group of people who are elected to make and change the laws of a country; the building where members of parliament meet. - รัฐสภา

permanently: for all time in the future - อย่างเป็นการถาวร

possess: to have or own something - ครอบครอง, ถือครอง

pressure: a force pressing against something - ความกดดัน

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

quality: the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is - คุณภาพ

riot police: police who are trained to deal with violent groups of people - ตำรวจปราบจราจล

rule: (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด

site: a place where something is located - สถานที่

sonic: connected with sound or the speed of sound - เกี่ยวกับเสียง

specific: detailed and exact - โดยเฉพาะ, เฉพาะเจาะจง

state-of-the-art: very modern and using the most recent ideas and methods - สมัยใหม่

stock: an amount of something that you keep so that you can use it when you need it - ที่เก็บไว้ในสต๊อก

target: an object that someone tries to hit or capture - เป้า

targeted: intended to attack someone or something - ตั้งเป้า เล็ง มุ่ง

tear gas: a gas used by some police and armed forces to control crowds of people. It hurts the eyes and makes them produce tears - ก๊าซน้ำตา

tool: a thing that helps you to do your job or to achieve something - เครื่องมือ

unruly: difficult to control - ยากที่จะควบคุมได้

water cannon: a machine that produces a powerful flow of water, used by the police to control crowds of people -

wave: a line of something that moves across an area - คลื่น

Related search: Thai riot police, crowd control tooks, water cannon truck, sonic, LARD

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