Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha won't take sides but has asked online commenters and trolls to stop 'injecting drama' into the saga of the rescue of the Wild Boars. (Post Today photo)
Amid debate on social media over whether the 12 boys and their football coach trapped in Tham Luang cave should be scolded for entering the complex during the monsoon season or hailed for their bravery, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked the public to stop creating any more "drama" in relation to the rescue mission.
"It's an issue people are following closely every day, so there's already been a lot of drama about it," he said, urging the media to report on the story responsibly.
"Agencies are working on supporting the boys' rehabilitation and I have asked provincial offices to look into the best way of making sure they are okay psychologically. I'm not saying the 13 people are heroes," he said.
"Most importantly, they must all be [safely] evacuated from the cave and serve as good members of society, and learn from their actions," the premier said.
Although the nation united in seeing the 12 boys aged 11-16 and their 25-year-old coach from "The Wild Boars" found in good health on Monday night, many have criticised the coach and the boys for acting irresponsibly in going into the cave and causing a global fuss.
Minister of Social Development and Human Security Anantaporn Kanjanarat said the public should not be too heavy-handed in its treatment of them.
"I don't want people to blame the group as it was an unexpected incident. I don't want them to be seen as heroes, either," he said. "All the agencies and everyone who is pitching in to help is either busy doing their job, volunteering or helping with relief efforts."
Opinion was divided on their coach Eakapol Chanthawong after reports emerged that he had taught the children to meditate so they forgot their hunger and were able to face 10 grim days in a cold, wet cave without power, food or any idea if or when they would be found.
One Facebook page called HappinessisThailand claimed they only made it because of their coach's sacrifices and sense of calm. He reportedly gave up some of his food so they could eat more.
On Twitter, @JMovf wrote: "Many people might have blamed the coach, but for me, the coach and the children are the victims. Had they known there would be danger they would not have gone there. I think the coach has done his best in protecting the children as well as he could. He is another hero that we can't forget."
@New_1602 wrote: "The heroes are the rescue teams. The children are the victims. Heroes deserve our praise. The victims deserve rehabilitation. It's as simple as that."
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to Online flame wars over boys' actions and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
criticise : to say that you disapprove of somebody/something; to say what you do not like or think is wrong about somebody/something - วิจารณ์, ติเตียน,จับผิด
evacuation : moving people from a place of danger to a safer place - การอพยพ
fuss : unnecessary excitement, worry or activity - ความอึกทึก, ความเอะอะ
grim : unpleasant and making you feel upset and worried - ที่โหดร้าย
heavy-handed (adj.): using unnecessary force; using too much of something in a way that can cause damage - ซึ่งเข้มงวด, ซึ่งกดขี่, ซึ่งงุ่มง่าม
irresponsible : done or said without thinking of the possible results of your actions or words - ขาดความรับผิดชอบ
meditate (verb): to think deeply, usually in silence, especially for religious reasons or in order to make your mind calm - ทำสมาธิ
pitch in : helped or give money to some project - ช่วยก่อให้เกิด
psychologically (adv): connected with a person’s mind and the way in which it works - ในทางจิต
rehabilitation : the process of returning someone or something to a good or healthy condition, state or way of living - การทำให้กลับสู่สภาพเดิม, การทำให้กลับมาดีเหมือนเดิม
relief : help; assistance - การช่วยให้พ้นภัย
responsibly : sensible, reliable, and able to be trusted to do the right thing มีความรับผิดชอบ -
sacrifice : important or valuable things given up, so that you or other people can have or do something else - ความเสียสละเพื่อส่วนรวม
victim : someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as a disaster, illness or an accident - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย