Thais lose confidence in gov’t after attacks: poll

Police and forensics personnel investigate the scene of a bombing at BTS Chong Nonsi on Friday morning in Bangkok. Photo: Coconuts
Police and forensics personnel investigate the scene of a bombing at BTS Chong Nonsi on Friday morning in Bangkok. Photo: Coconuts

As the hunt for those behind the recent string of bomb and arson attacks continues, public confidence in the government has plummeted, according to a new poll.

While the nation’s top cop handed the case over to the Crime Suppression Division, a university poll found many people’s faith in the government shaken by the attacks.

Three out of four respondents to a Suan Dusit University poll conducted last week said the attacks had diminished their faith in the government of Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha and showed mishandling of security. Nearly nine in 10 people said they expected Bangkok to be hit again in the future.

Suan Dusit said 1,220 people were surveyed but, like many domestic polling organizations, did not publish its methodology. A representative told Coconuts Bangkok that pollsters approached people in person at busy locations in different parts of Bangkok and “surrounding areas” including other provinces.

On Sunday, national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda announced that the Crime Suppression Division would take over investigation of the Aug. 2 attacks, as well as a smaller explosion that happened two days later in Nonthaburi province that officials suspect may be related.   

Chakthip said he would assign Col. Somkhuan Phuengsap – a division deputy chief and an investigator Chakthip trusts –  to lead the effort. 

So far at least nine suspects have been detained so far, Prime Minister Prayuth said last week. Though more suspects remain at large, estimates of how there could be vary from source to source, as officials remain tight-lipped about details.

While the attacks are widely seen as the work of southern separatists – Prayuth’s deputy said as much last week – the former junta leader said a motive had not yet been fully established.

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