Connect with us

Protests

The 3 finger salute. Why did it become the symbol for Thai protesters? – VIDEO

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

The 3 finger salute. Why did it become the symbol for Thai protesters? – VIDEO | Thaiger

The 3 finger salute, now adopted by Thai protesters as their “go to” symbol in the current round of rally’s and protests against the Thai government and establishment, emerged originally from pop culture.

 

In the Hunger Games movie franchise, the residents of a dystopian future North America, forced to compete in a televised death match for the pleasure of the elite – used the gesture to mean thanks, admiration and goodbye to someone they love.

But in the Hunger Games the symbolic gesture morphs into a more general symbol of an uprising against the privileged, totalitarian overlords, protected by a zealous military. The drama of the symbolism wasn’t lost on the young Thais who drew their own parallels and ‘owned’ the gesture as their own.

The first Hunger Games film was released in 2012. The same salute was first used in Thailand after the military coup in 2014 to show defiance against the unelected Junta which had seized power from the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government.

The leader of the coup, and now Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, remains a key target of the young protesters.

Amongst their grievances, they demand the standing down of the prime minister, the dismissal of the current government, new elections, and a new constitution to replace the 2017 Charter.

Controversially, the protesters are also taking aim at Thailand’s revered Monarchy, up until recently a taboo topic that would never be discussed in polite Thai conversation, let alone be criticised publicly.

During an August protest this year a 10 point manifesto was read out, listing the grievances against the un-elected government but also, for the first time, publicly voiced demands for reform of the country’s Head of State including its powers and perceived interference with Thai politics.

Up to now the 3 fingers salute, indeed the entire spectacle of their subjects protesting, has been kept well away from Thailand’s royal family. That was until October 14 when the scheduling and routing of a royal motorcade, with the Queen and young prince on board, dragged the motorcade directly into the path of a protest gathering of some 10,000 people – a protest that had been announced almost a month before, including the date and the location.

3 senior police have now been removed from their posts and being asked to explain how and why senior royals were exposed to potential danger. As you can see the 3 finger salute was being aimed directly at the occupants of the yellow Rolls Royce. The anger, the shouts of “our taxes” and the long lines of protesters could not have been unseen or unheard.

Whilst the meanings and intent of the 3 finger gesture may have been lost from the original movie, it has certainly become the symbol for the latest protest movement as a simple but potent symbol against oppression, demands for freedom of speech and a call for democratic reform in the South East Asian nation.

What makes this round of protests different from the protests of Thailand’s past, is the make-up of the rallies – mostly younger university and school students who are becoming politically savvy at an earlier age and wanting to grow up in a very different country than their parents.

They are exposed to social media and have a vast array of news sources and opinions at their fingertips, shaping a young political voice which wants to avoid, at all costs, the Thai cycle of coups, constitutional re-writes, new governments, another coup, etc, etc.

In Thailand, a hugely disproportionate chunk of wealth is concentrated in the hands of an entitled elite, where Army generals have launched repeated coups to protect their interests – some 13 coups in the past 90 years since Thailand became a constitutional monarchy with an elected government.

Since 2014 the three finger salute has become the go to symbol – right arm raised, 3 middle fingers reaching for sky – by rally crowds and flashed by activists as they strolled into court or were bundled into police vans.

The Thai government, which draws its power from the Thai Army and support from the country’s Head of State, now faces a younger, more politically educated adversary… with a voice that can be shared with millions.

What the protesters may lack in resources and weaponry, they make up with determination, growing numbers and the power of the simple 3 finger gesture.

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Don R

    Monday, October 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to obey the Scout law, to help other people at all times… eh I forgot the rest…

    • Avatar

      mutznutz

      Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 9:42 am

      Scouts used two fingers as i remember not three as these protesters are using!

      • Avatar

        Jean Decrusis

        Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 4:01 pm

        Where I come from, the 2-finger salute are done by very young scouts called “cub scouts”. Boy scouts uses the 3-finger salute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Protests

Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests

Avatar

Published

on

Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests | Thaiger
PHOTO: Demonstration attendance has been falling in the face of Covid-19, coups and crackdowns.

While protesters against the Thai government are continuing as they have for endless months, attendance is lessening in the face of crackdowns, coups and Covid-19. The throngs of 10,000 plus protesters, mostly energetic youth, that waved The Hunger Games 3 finger salute and demanded change in Thailand last summer have thinned to a few thousand or less these days.

The government isn’t in the clear yet though, as the protester’s calls to replace the current government, lessen the power of the Thai monarchy, and draw up a new constitution are still popular ideas. But a number of factors are causing protester size and vigour to wane.

The second wave of Covid in December quickly curbed the daily demonstrations for fear of spreading the virus. After that, the coup in Myanmar on February 1 has brought massive protests with international attention shifting to the growing humanitarian crisis just across the border. On top of the pandemic and the Burmese coup, the Thai government has taken a much more hardline approach to protesters in recent months.

Police began fighting back against mass demonstrations, dispersing crowds with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. And after 2 years of leniency, the government has begun prosecuting people under the strict lèse-majesté laws, where offending the monarchy can carry harsh punishment including a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Anon Nampa, a human-rights lawyer, and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, a student activist, have already been arrested under this law and held without bail. Arrests like these have been demoralising for the pro-democracy movement, and have scared away a lot of Thai protesters. Many have shifted focus to more immediate efforts to demand the release of the detained protest leaders.

Even with the crowds shrinking, the protests have already brought about change, bringing once unspeakable conversations into the national conversation, and keeping pressure on Thailand’s leaders. Opposition is growing, with efforts to push no-confidence votes and amendments to the constitution being constantly proposed and advocated.

SOURCE: The Economist

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Myanmar

Burmese refugees are being aided, PM Prayut assures

Avatar

Published

on

Burmese refugees are being aided, PM Prayut assures | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: PM Prayut Chan-o-Cha

Burmese refugees along the Thai-Myanmar border are being provided with humanitarian assistance according to a statement by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday. PM Prayut spoke about the growing crisis at Government House Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. He said that the two countries, since they are neighbouring, need to be in agreement and work together and Thailand can’t take sharp independent action. He believes the problem must be addressed diplomatically.

The remarks come in defence of growing concern that the Thai government is not doing enough to help Burmese refugees affected by the military crackdown. PM Prayut pointed out that there’s already a government body in place designed to address and handle issues along the border, called the Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee.

“It doesn’t mean we don’t care when speaking in terms of humanitarian affairs because it is about human lives. The government has suggested guidelines to solve [the crisis] via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ASEAN which will have a meeting shortly. We must solve the problem systematically. Because our two countries are next to each other, we can’t take decisions by ourselves. As for violence, we disagree [with it].”

The Immigration Bureau Chief estimates there are about 2,000 Burmese refugees currently in the Mae Hong Son province. Several Burmese refugees have even been treated within Thailand after being injured fighting inside the Myanmar border.

The issue is exacerbated by a dual crisis with the crackdown on protests following the Burmese coup and the expanding outbreak of Covid-19 transmission. Government officials are calling for cooperation along the border and in both countries to try to resolve the refugee crisis as well as contain Covid-19 outbreaks, which are currently on the rise again.

Six more checkpoints have been reopened in the meantime along the Thai-Burmese border since March. 46 of the 97 border openings are currently open with checkpoints in operation..

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Protests

Red Shirts leader vows to hold April 4 protest aimed at toppling government

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Red Shirts leader vows to hold April 4 protest aimed at toppling government | Thaiger
"Red shirt" protesters in Bangkok in 2010. PHOTO: Facebook / Matias Vilhena

The chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, whose supporters are commonly known as the Red Shirts, says he will lead a protest on April 4 with the aim of toppling the government. Jatuporn Promphan vows to take charge of what he’s calling a prolonged protest, to oust the administration of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

According to a Thai PBS World report, Jatuporn has remained on the sidelines since his release from prison in August 2016, more of an observer than a participant in the ongoing political protests. However, in a Facebook Live broadcast, he says the situation in Thailand has reached a critical point and he can no longer look on without acting. In yesterday’s live feed, he pledged to heed the call of Adul Khieuboriboon, leader of the relatives of the “Black May” victims. Up to 200,000 people took part in the 1992 Black May protest in Bangkok, which was an uprising against the military government of the day.

“The military crackdown resulted in 52 government-confirmed deaths, hundreds of injuries including journalists, over 3,500 arrests, hundreds of disappearances, and eyewitness reports of a truck filled with bodies leaving the city. Many of those arrested are alleged to have been tortured.”– Wikipedia.

Jatuporn says the April 4 protest will be similar to the Black May event, which saw people of all political sides join forces to fight dictatorship. He admits that the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship is no longer seen as a credible political presence in Thailand and that many politicians dismiss the idea that he could attract a mass following. However, he still hopes that a variety of people with differing political views and ideologies will join Sunday’s rally.

He says the PM is to blame for the country’s problems and must be removed from office if things are to improve for Thailand and its people.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Keep in contact with Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger
Chiang Mai1 day ago

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement | Thaiger
Transport2 days ago

Thai Airways cuts another 4,250 staff, offering them early retirement

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5 | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok nightspot Covid clusters, Tesco/CP merger goes to court | April 5

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger
Crime3 days ago

Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 days ago

Police chief orders staff to work from home after 42 officers test positive

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee | Thaiger
Events5 days ago

Weekend party event in Phuket reports positive Covid attendee

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated | Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand allows entry to 11 groups of travellers, cuts quarantine down for those vaccinated

Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death | Thaiger
Hot News11 hours ago

Condolences from Thailand to UK on Prince Philip’s death

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan | Thaiger
Business6 days ago

Labour union angry over changes to Thai Airways staff contracts under rehab plan

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Leading Thai virologist warns of third wave, says herd immunity will take 2 years at current vaccination rate

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Nightlife shut down in 3 Bangkok districts following rise in Covid numbers

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Some Bangkok international schools close following rise of Covid-19 cases in the area

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

Bangkok prepares to open field hospital as officials warn of a rapid rise in infections

Thai Health Minister pictured without mask, sitting next to infected Transport Minister | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 days ago

Thai Health Minister pictured without mask, sitting next to infected Transport Minister

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison | Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

CCSA Update: 194 new Covid-19 cases, outbreak at Narathiwat prison

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism1 month ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending