Govt pledges to boost security
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Govt pledges to boost security

Shooting prompts PM's reassurance

A security guard checks a visitor’s bag at one of the entrances to Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A security guard checks a visitor’s bag at one of the entrances to Siam Paragon shopping mall in Bangkok on Thursday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The government has assured that safety measures will be ramped up to restore foreign tourists' confidence after the Siam Paragon shooting.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin gave the assurances after being questioned by Chinese media over Tuesday's shooting, which left two foreign nationals, one Chinese and one Myanmar person dead, and five people wounded -- one Chinese, a Lao national and three Thais.

The prime minister said Chinese visitors are always welcome in Thailand, adding that security measures will be stepped up to prevent any incidents in the future.

Gun control measures will also be tightened to prevent easy access to firearms, he said.

Mr Srettha was answering media questions at the 2nd Thailand Climate Action Conference (TCAC) at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center after presiding over its opening event.

Meanwhile, the Situation Command Centre (SCC) formed to handle the shooting on Friday held a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to offer updates on investigations into the incident and on financial assistance given to its victims. Deputy Foreign Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee, who led the press briefing, said the government will try its best to ensure justice for those affected by the shooting.

Mr Jakkapong said the Foreign Affairs Ministry has been in close contact with foreign embassies whose citizens were affected to ensure the families of the deceased and wounded receive the help they needed as quickly as possible.

He said the PM had sent a letter to Beijing over the incident and would travel to China in the middle of the month to reaffirm the relationship between the two countries.

Deputy Foreign Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee, centre, leads a news conference at the Foreign Ministry on Friday on the investigation into the Siam Paragon shooting on Tuesday and the government's financial assistance to victims. (Photo Nutthawat Wichieanbut)

The SCC said the government will offer 1.2 million baht in compensation to each of the families of those killed. At the same time, Siam Paragon shopping mall will give another 5 million baht to each family.

After being discharged from the hospital, the five injured people will receive 50,000 baht in compensation from the government and another 300,000 baht from the shopping mall. According to the ministry, Giffarine Skyline Unity Co, a Thai direct sales company, has also donated 1 million baht to the government for use in compensation for the shooting that captured headlines worldwide.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested after the shooting spree and charged with premeditated murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of gun and ammunition, illegally carrying a weapon and firing shots in a public place, according to police. Three men were arrested on Thursday for selling the weapon and bullets to the teen.

Meanwhile, the boy's parents on Friday issued an apology letter.

"My family and I feel a profound sense of regret," the father wrote. "We offer our deepest apologies to the victims, the families of the deceased and the injured, from the recent shooting incident that occurred as the result of our son's actions at the Siam Paragon department store.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked by this incident and accept responsibility as fully as we can. We would also like to promise that we will cooperate with the police, government officials and every agency necessary regarding these legal proceedings, as well as support any mitigation and efforts to remedy the effects of this event as best as possible."

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