The Nation



Military steps up for the people

As civil unrest and a deep political divide rock Bangkok, the military is demonstrating that Thai citizens can depend on it as it continues rescuing protesters and providing support.

Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha instructed the First Army Region's Royal Medical Department School to deploy 10 medical units to treat protesters injured by tear gas. The police launched a tear gas attack in a move to stop protesters from storming Government House and the Metropolitan Police headquarters yesterday in what they dubbed was a civil-disobedience movement.

Deputy Army spokesman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said the forces had prepared medical teams to help protesters during the confrontation. Eight medical teams with ambulances were on stand by at Ayutthaya, Rajdamnoen Nok and Amnuay Songkram roads.

Manasit Sripirom, a member of one of the medical teams, said he had provided first aid to people hit by tear gas by spraying their faces with saline solution to reduce the 'burning' and then washing their faces with plain water.

He also had to protect himself with a full-protection mask.

Sithichai Bamrungpas, another member of one of the medical teams, said he too had sustained injuries while trying to rescue those who were badly injured and called on police to use less tear gas.

Earlier, the military top brass moved to bring anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to the negotiation table with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatara on Sunday night.

At Prayuth's order, a company of soldiers from the 11th Infantry Regiment King's Guard took control of the Ramkhamhaeng University area to rescue crowds protesting against the so-called "Thaksin regime" gathered inside the university compound after some were injured and killed in a shooting incident on Saturday night.

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