[EDITORIALS]End violent protests nowViolent protests must come to an end now. If violence continues to mar demonstrations, this country faces a gloomy future.
The emergency rooms at the National Police Hospital allegedly look like field hospitals on a battleground, crowded with riot policemen wounded by scythes, bamboo spears and bars, which tells us how violent the demonstrations have become.
It is the government’s responsibility to take strong measures to establish order when a gathering leads to an illegal action or when violence occurs. The government is instead doing nothing. Its lethargy is causing people to try to achieve what they want through demonstrations, rather than conversation and negotiation.
The victims caught in the middle are the riot police. When the only means they have to quell armed demonstrators are a club and shield, it is no wonder that injuries have increased. It is hard to understand why the government, and especially the police headquarters, declines to use water cannons and tear gas, which are the proper methods to suppress radical demonstrations.
The president is calling for severe punishment for violent protests, but that does not bring about peaceful demonstrations. Police force must clearly be used on violent demonstrators and they must be given the maximum punishment that the law allows.
Above all, reflection and self-control by the demonstrators is sorely needed. They are specifically attacking riot police on the lips and below the jaw, areas that are not protected by the helmets the police officers wear. This is no different from an act of murder.
Protesters should not rely on violence to express their views, but instead they must use reasonable methods like peaceful marches. Some people insist that quite a few demonstrators have been injured by excessive police force, but, after all, they are the ones who started it. If they held peaceful demonstrations, these developments would not have taken place.
Riot policemen are our sons. They should not be left alone any longer as a shield against violent demonstrations.