The Government has established a Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) to bring the situation under control as soon as possible. Dr. Panitan Wattanayakorn, Deputy Secretary-General to the Prime Minister and Acting Government Spokesman, and Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd, Spokesman of the Royal Thai Army, on April 13 gave a televised briefing on the Prime Minister’s order to establish the center.
Dr. Panitan said that following the declaration on the state of emergency in Bangkok and Nonthaburi and certain areas in nearby provinces on April 12, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has instructed the establishment of the centre. He also ordered the prohibition of road blockades to enable the normal flow of traffic.
Early on the morning of April 13, around 4:00 a.m., after the announcement of the order to prohibit road blockades, the officers at the Din Daeng intersection encountered a group of protestors who attempted to block the roads by using a bus. The officials then informed the protestors of the anti-road blockade order and asked them to stop the blockade. However, the protestors did not listen to the officials and drove the bus into the crowd of officials. The officials then fired a warning shot into the air to warn the protestors. This was followed by firing tear gas and the situation was then brought under control.
The action taken by the officials started with basic measures and thereafter progressively stepped up to more intense ones. In the clash that took place, both military officers and protesters were injured and were taken to hospitals. Nobody died during the military operation to open traffic in the Din Daeng area.
Dr. Panitan reiterated that in dispersing the group of protestors, the Government had taken action in a transparent manner and taken due consideration of the safety of the people. He also asked the general public to place their trust in the Government in its handling of the situation and cooperate with the Government by providing the newly established centre with useful information. The Government ensures that whatever action it takes will be in accordance with the law and democratic principles.
Following the briefing given by Dr. Panitan, Colonel Sansern added that the clash began by the protestors firing tear gas at a crowd of officers, thereafter driving the bus that was used as a blockade directly into them. In an attempt to control the situation, the officials fired a gunshot up into the air – not directly at the protestors – to warn the protestors and encourage them to move away from the scene. Then, the officials had to use tear gas, sticks and shields in order to protect themselves.