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Future Forward members gather to hear Constitutional Court’s verdict at 2pm

The Thaiger

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Future Forward members gather to hear Constitutional Court’s verdict at 2pm | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The claim tried to connect Thailand's Future Forward party to the "Illuminati"
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Members and supporters of Thailand’s Future Forward Party are massing at the party’s headquarters in the on New Phetchaburi Road in Bangkok awaiting the Constitutional Court’s ruling on charges that it has engaged “in activities detrimental to the democratic system”. The case stems from a complain six months ago that Future Forward was involved in the imaginary “Illuminati” group, thought to want to overthrow the world’s monarchies.

Active in the 1700’s, the Illuminati were alleged to be a secret society behind campaigns to overthrow Europe’s monarchies and influence the American declaration of independence (in 1776). It has been a popular conspiracy theory directed at progressive democracies in recent decades.

The Future Forward party stands accused of attempting to undermine Thailand’s democratic system, as a constitutional monarchy. The charges stem from selected commentary from Future Forward executives, critical of the Thai monarchy. They also claim that the party’s political manifesto doesn’t specifically mention support for democracy under the monarchy.

The charges, which Future Forward leader Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit dismissed as “nonsense” when they were came out last July, were filed by Dr. Natthaporn Toprayoon, a Thai lawyer and a former advisor to the ombudsman’s office.

Today’s judgement will be a historical political case, both in terms of the evidence provided over the “Illuminati” case, and the impact it will have on the Future Forward party in Thailand.

The party has already announced that it will call a media conference after the court delivers its verdict this afternoon. Yesterday Amnesty International called on the Thai government to stop what it described as “legal intimidation” of the Future Forward Party. It wants to see all charges filed against the party withdrawn.

The verdict is scheduled to be handed down from 2pm today.

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Opposition MP alleges PM and army behind cyber propaganda

The Thaiger

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Opposition MP alleges PM and army behind cyber propaganda | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Future Forward Party's, Viroj Lakkana-adisorn - Thai PBS World

An opposition MP says he’s holding PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha responsible for a network of social media that have been allegedly running a cyber campaign against critics of the current government. They accuse the PM and supporters of the government about spreading fake news and derogatory comments about them.

An MP of the now-disbanded Future Forward Party, Viroj Lakkana-adisorn, says the ‘network’ includes specific websites and social media that’s been targeting leaders and supporters of the political party as well as human rights activists in the violence-hit southern regions of the country. Viroj was addressing the allegations during a no-confidence debate that was targeting Thai PM Prayut, who also acts as defence minister.

Thai PBS World reports that he provided evidence from a website, pulony.blogspot.com, which has been publishing information critical of human right activists in southern Thailand. He said the website is linked to a network of social media which routinely re-post its contents. The allegation is that the PM was knowledgable about such activities and that the government was supporting the people ‘gaming’ the information and opinions on targeted websites.

Viroj described the websites as part of the so-called information operation and named the Internal Security Operation Command, the country’s top intelligence and security body, as complicit in the propaganda. He alleged that their operations were under the direct command of the PM and targeting critics of the military and government.

“The purpose is to denigrate these people. To sow seeds of hatred.”

Viroj made his allegations under parliamentary privilege during the ongoing no-confidence debate currently being heard in parliamentary sessions.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Bangkok police on alert at student rallies

Greeley Pulitzer

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Bangkok police on alert at student rallies | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Students gather at a pro-democracy rally against military rule and the Constitutional Court’s ruling to dissolve the progressive opposition Future Forward Party, at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on Monday - Thai PBS World

Authorities in greater Bangkok are keeping a watchful eye on students organising political rallies at universities in and around Bangkok, warning them to strictly adhere to public assembly laws. Last night, activities were held by students at Mahidol University, Silpakorn University’s Tha Phra campus, Chiang Mai University and Maejo University, also in Chiang Mai, following the Constitutional Court’s decision to disband the popular Future Forward Party (FFP) over a breach of election law. Today, students at Walailak University in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Thammasat University’s Lampang campus are expected to follow suit.

“Although public gatherings to make demands or to mount resistance are a democratic right, the organisers and participants are reminded that they must act within the bounds of the law.”

The string of gatherings followed Saturday’s event where groups of students and people joined a rally at Thammasat University.

On Monday at Chulalongkorn University, students led by those from the Faculty of Arts, gathered on campus at 5pm and took turns speaking onstage. At Kasetsart University at about the same time, a large group of students and people gathered to issue a statement.

The statement complained about a loss of freedom and of injustices over the past five years, as well as the arbitrary appointments of cronies of the junta to key positions, which they described as its legacy.

Deputy national police spokesman Kissana Phattanacharoen says police officers, including plainclothes officers, are being deployed to rally sites “to ensure the safety of the protesters and monitor their movements.”

Kissana points out that prior permission must be obtained to stage rallies in certain locations, while acts done with the intent to provoke unrest are prohibited.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Future Forward ruling sparks flash mob at Bangkok’s Thammasat U.

Greeley Pulitzer

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Future Forward ruling sparks flash mob at Bangkok’s Thammasat U. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Students and supporters of the now-defunct Future Forward Party protesting at Thamassat University last night - Thai PBS Word

The Student Union of Thailand held a brief rally at the campus of Thammasat University yesterday, to protest the Constitutional Court’s decision to dissolve the Future Forward party, strip its MPs of their status and and ban its executive committee members from politics for ten years.

Students and members of the public who support the now-defunct party attended, lighting candles as a gesture of “protest against injustice in Thailand.”

Two sheets of white cloth were laid on the ground of the Pridi Courtyard, where protesters could express their thoughts about the court’s decision. The event also featured the poetry readings and speeches by students.

Plainclothes policemen were sent to observe the event, which ended peacefully at about 7pm.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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