PM thanks volunteers for cleaning streets after anti-govt protest

PM thanks volunteers for cleaning streets after anti-govt protest

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked volunteers for cleaning up paint and graffiti on walls and streets outside the Royal Thai Police headquarters following the People's Movement rally at Ratchaprasong intersection on Wednesday.

Gen Prayut, who is also defence minister, praised the volunteers, the public and officials for taking part in cleaning the paint-stained walls and streets outside the police compound defaced by protesters, said government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.

Graffiti with offensive messages at various spots in the area had been cleaned up, he said.

A protest co-leader said they had acted out of anger after police used water cannons and teargas to stop them from approaching parliament where a debate and vote on seven constitutional amendment bills were taking place. The bills would pave the way for a rewrite of the charter, one of their key demands.

At least 55 people were injured, 32 by teargas, and six were shot during clashes with a rival group of royalist demonstrators, according to the Erawan emergency medical unit at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

One bill which the demonstrators supported, submitted by Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw), was rejected by senators. The demonstrators later assembled at the Ratchaprasong intersection near the police headquarters.

Mr Anucha said yesterday the vandalism caused damage to property owned by the state and private sector. The prime minister hoped that demonstrators would exercise their rights within the framework of the law and express their views in a constructive manner, he said.

Pro-government yellow-shirt volunteers gathered in front of the Royal Thai Police Headquarters on Friday morning to clean paint left by the anti-government protesters.

National police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk yesterday organised a big cleaning activity at the police head office.

A total of 827 officers took part in cleaning up the compound, said a police spokesman, Pol Maj Gen Yingyos Thepchamnong.

Spraypaint caused damage to the fence and name board. Volunteers earlier helped clean up the paint-strained structures, he said.

Police were still gathering evidence regarding legal cases against those involved, he added.

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