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Four killed in Thai's national cleansing campaign
AFAR
2/5/2003



On January 14, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced an ambitious 4-month plan to banish drugs from “every square inch” of the country. Shinawatra warned that those who did not fulfill their responsibility of making Thailand drug-free by 9:00 p.m. on April 30 would lose their jobs.

This past Saturday, on the first day the new campaign was launched, police reported to have killed four alleged traffickers, arrested more than 260 suspects, and seized almost 800,000 methamphetamine pills, also known as speed.

National Police Chief Sant Sarutanonda reassured that the police acted out of self-defense and that authorities do not condone killing the suspected criminals.

Former national police chief, General Sawat Amornwiwat sees the plan as "unrealistic" as senior officials and politicians are strong supporters of the drug traffickers.

Knowing this, Shinawatra called for the 500 representatives from all Thai provinces to attend a ceremony in Bangkok to swear an oath that they would not be involved in the drugs trade. This was televised live nationwide on January 31.

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