'Monk-Beating Redshirts' Under Arrest

(26 March) The police have arrested a group of Redshirts activists for assaulting a monk at a rally on Tuesday, a top official announced.

Mr. Tharit Pengdith, secretary of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), said 4 suspects have been detained by Nonthaburi police and charged with physical assaults.

The confrontation erupted when the Buddhist monk impolitely berated a group of Redshirts activists under the name People's Radio for Democracy (PRD) as they rallied in front of the National Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Nonthaburi province. 

All suspects confessed to their crime, Mr. Tharit said, but they claimed that the monk provoked the fights by throwing a bottle of water and prodded at them with his walking cane. 

The CAPO secretary, who also serves as chief of the Division of Special Investigation (DSI), then told reporters that the confrontation should be reminder that rival protest groups could clash and the violence could escalate into a full-blown civil war.

"Therefore, CAPO would like to urge the leaders of all political groups to refrain from any act of provocation and confrontation," Mr. Tharit said, "The leaders should be aware that their actions will severely affect the country". 

He added, "Furthermore, if they encourage their supporters to break the laws, they must be held responsible, and they will be harshly condemned by the society".