BANGKOK — The police have formally apologised to a core anti-government leader for spraying him with tear gas and a high-pressured water hose during a skirmish in Bangkok yesterday.
The clash between protesters and police occured when the monk and activist Buddha Issara led supporters of the People's Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King As Head of State (PCAD) to the headquarters of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO) on Viphavadee Road.
The monk and his entourage attempted to enter the CAPO compound, and police responded by firing barrage of tear gas and high-pressured water at them, forcing Buddha Issara to retreat.
The monk later pressed charges with Thoong Song Hong Police against the police force, accusing them of attempting to murder him and violating his constitutional right to peaceful assembly.
Today Buddha Issara led hundreds of protesters back to the CAPO headquarters to demand a formal apology from police. When the police initially failed to respond to his request, Buddha Issara ordered supporters to start dismantling concrete barriers around the entrance to the CAPO compound.
PCAD guards also briefly blocked Viphavadee Road and the elevated tollway during the demonstration, disrupting traffic and forcing a number of foreign tourists to walk with their luggages to find another way to reach Don Mueang Airport.
However, the police eventually sent several representatives bearing traditional garlands to apologise to Buddha Issara. The officers knelt down humbly and asked the monk to forgive police for their actions on the previous day.
Pleased with the gesture, Buddha Issara accepted the apology, and the protesters dispersed peacefully from the area.
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