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Progressive MP raises “3 finger salute” in Parliament




An opposition MP from the eastern province of Chantaburi, along the Cambodian border, raised eyebrows today when she flashed the pro-democracy “3 finger salute” immediately after after speaking about state repression of student protestors. The salute has become the student movement’s trademark gesture of solidarity. Yanathicha Buapuean, an MP for the Move Forward Party said:

“These actions are intended to harass people and create fear so that the students don’t create any more civil disobedience campaigns.”

Referring to the Ministry of Education’s announcement that schools must allow students to express their political views on campus, she opined:

“The announcement from the Officer of the Basic Education Commission did not help anything as schools are still refusing to provide students with space for them to carry out their activities”

The announcement was a direct response to reports of state officials pressuring schools to prevent student actions that promote civil disobedience. Such actions include showing the 3 finger salute during morning assembly, wearing white ribbons, and holding up empty signs in support of the latest pro-democracy movement against PM Prayut Chan-ocha’s administration.

In her address to Parliament, Yanathicha mentioned a school in Chanthaburi that allowed plainclothes officers to enter the school and take photos of students to intimidate and discourage them from conducting their activities.

Officers also called students’ parents to inform them of their activities. Ynathicha added that some student organisers were followed by plainclothes officers on Tuesday when the PM visited the province.

After her address, Yanathicha flashed the 3 finger salute for democracy while asking for the PM, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation to stop harassing people, including opposition MPs like herself.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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