BANGKOK — A spokesman of the ruling junta said Friday that a drill sergeant seen caning his recruit in a now-viral video will face severe punishment.
In response to the outrage on social media against yet another instance of brutality in the armed forces, Col. Winthai Suvaree said the punishment was not sanctioned by the army, and promised a swift investigation.
“It was a clear violation of regulations and orders from commanding officers,” the spokesman said at Friday’s news conference. “Once the investigation is concluded, the said member of the armed force will definitely be handed a severe punishment.”
In the video, which surfaced on social media on Thursday, a soldier repeatedly cans a recruit while he cows on the ground. No context was given as to why the soldier was punished in such manner. Winthai said the incident took place during the training of new soldiers at a cavalry base in Saraburi province.
Many comments on social media in response to the video say the beating highlights a lack of respect for low-ranking soldiers in the army, especially those who are forced into uniforms by the annual mandatory draft.
“He shouldn’t be called soldier,” user Prae Naratip wrote in a thread, referring to the drill sergeant. “What a waste that his salary comes from taxpayers. It does not benefit the country at all. Well, this is what it’s like to be a draftee, a life that no one wants to be.”
In the aftermath of the video, the commander of the Royal Thai Army had subsequently instructed all of its units not to repeat the action seen in the video, Winthai said.