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Pro-democracy movement raises issues on LGBT and women’s rights

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pro-democracy movement raises issues on LGBT and women’s rights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Line Today
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The pro-democracy movement is now shedding light on issues on gender equality and LGBT rights in Thailand. Some people at the September 19 rally in Bangkok were collecting signatures calling on the decriminalisation of abortion and prostitution. Even a booth called “Pussy Gallery” was set up where people could draw colourful vaginas, raising awareness that the colour does not value a woman.

Since a large rally in July, activists have been calling on an end to the military run government and demanding a rewrite of the constitution. The New York Times reports that young women are at the frontlines of the protests, some raising issues like abortion and taxes on menstrual products as well as outdated rules for girls at Thai schools.

A NY Times reporter spoke to female students involved in the political movement who said “The monarchy and the military have all the power in Thailand… I shouldn’t be afraid to say that men have almost all the power in Thailand.”

In the past, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha brushed off talk of gender equality. In 2016, before he became Thailand’s prime minister, the retired general said “Everyone says that we have to create justice, women and men have equal rights … Thai society will deteriorate if you think that way.” He went on to say “Outside the house, we (men) are big … At work, we (men) have the power.”

The NY Times reports women only occupy 14% of seats in parliament. Before the 2014 military coup, they only occupied 5%. The nation’s top military school and the Royal Thai Police Academy do not accept women.

Along with the Pussy Gallery at the September 19 rally, another booth encouraged participants to paint sanitary menstrual pads to send the message that a woman’s period is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. The pads were also given away for free as a protest against the tax on menstruation products.

Gender equality and LGBT rights activist Chumaporn “Waddao” Taengkliang gave a speech at the rally and said there are stereotypes, harassment and injustice in Thai society that exclude both woman and LGBT people from the right they deserve. Waddao says in Thai media, LGBT people are often portrayed as comic relief.

Winner of Drag Race Thailand Season 2, Angele Anang, was also seen at the rally. Angele says Thailand needs LGBT rights, like same-sex marriage.

“This government is no longer legitimate. They have not provided justice to everyone, whether you are an LGBT person, or whether you are a woman. They are not transparent in every aspect, such as the budget. I am here to be a part to tell them what we want.”

Pro-democracy movement raises issues on LGBT and women's rights | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES:New York Times | Prachatai English

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    September 30, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    “sheading”?!

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    September 30, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Let’s be honest – whatever else it may or may not have done, or however popular or legitimate it may or may not be, this government is still the first to do more than just talk about gay partnerships, which is all previous governments managed to do.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      September 30, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      meanwhile, millions are reportedly facing economic calamity, talk about priorities…

      • Avatar

        Mike

        September 30, 2020 at 10:06 pm

        Some can walk AND chew gum. Some cannot.

    • Avatar

      Mike

      September 30, 2020 at 10:05 pm

      Issan John, I’m curious what this administration has actually done for the LGBT community in Thailand? I’ve seen no laws accepting marriage or something equal. I’m just curious what.

  3. Avatar

    Geoff

    October 1, 2020 at 5:03 am

    They’ve lost the plot. Trying to “fix” everything instead of sticking to their original demands.

  4. Avatar

    Mark

    October 1, 2020 at 7:39 am

    My experience is there are many many women with power ! Certainly in business and education! Some of them in the latter have been the most nauseating incompetent women I have known

  5. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 1, 2020 at 9:02 am

    I think they should stay with demanding basic rights first, like the right to have an election of the countries MPs.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 1, 2020 at 10:14 am

    The Thai cabinet approved the Civil Partnership Bill on 8 July this year – the first and all-important step in the government passing the Bill, which will normally follow in three or four months.

    It’s far from ‘their idea’ as it was proposed under the first Thaksin government, but they’re the only one to actually ‘do’ anything so deserve the credit – similarly, the Democrats and Chuan proposed the ‘yellow card’ health scheme but Thaksin rightly took the credit for that as it was his government that passed it.

    If / when passed it will give virtually the same rights as marriage (tax, inheritance, adoption, next of kin, pension, property, etc), similar to Civil Partnership in the UK. AFAIK the only part that isn’t clear is visas for ‘partnered’ farangs.

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 1, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I’ve got to go along with you and Toby A there. The more ‘extras’ there are to the protests, from LGBT rights to tax-free tampons, the less significance the core issues have.

    That’s not to say the other issues aren’t important, but it’s a question of priorities, and attention that’s given to the Pussy Gallery, et al, is attention that’s lost to the pro-democracy protest.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Bangkok

2 shot outside Bangkok massage parlour

Caitlin Ashworth

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2 shot outside Bangkok massage parlour | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: วิเวก เตาปูน อาสากู้ชีพ

Police are investigating a shooting at a Bangkok massage parlour where a person was shot in the neck and another person shot in the backside. Police have not identified the shooter, but a post by a Facebook user accused an alleged “well known gambler” of shooting the 2 people.

Police were called at 3am Wednesday to the Saree Sauna & Spa on Ratchapruek in the Phasi Charoen, a Bangkok district just across the west side of the Chao Phraya. A fight allegedly broke out around 10:30pm Tuesday between the 3 people. A person then allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the other 2.

The suspect has not been identified by police at this stage. Investigators are collecting more evidence and reviewing surveillance camera footage before naming a suspect and issuing an arrest warrant.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Opposition MP slashes his arm in protest at treatment of anti-government activists

Maya Taylor

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Opposition MP slashes his arm in protest at treatment of anti-government activists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naew Na

An opposition party MP has slashed his arm in front of officials in Parliament, in protest at the treatment of political activists. Visan Techatirawat, a partY member of the opposition Pheu Thai Party, says the gesture was his own personal protest to oppose the government’s action against peaceful protesters at a rally in the capital on October 17. Police remain accused of using high-powered water cannons laced with chemicals to disperse the gathering, although police chiefs have denied using any chemicals.

Visan slashed his left hand and arm 3 times on the second day of a parliamentary debate aimed at finding a way out of the current political impasse. He says that, while he’s been in politics since 1986, he still doesn’t know how to solve the political problems facing the country and would rather shed his own blood than have the young protesters have to shed theirs.

Opposition MP slashes his arm in protest at treatment of anti-government activists | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

It’s understood the opposition politician used a fruit knife he’d borrowed from a maid in the parliament building. He says he did not announce his plans to anyone, including his family, before carrying out the act.

Nation Thailand reports that officials and others who witnessed the act were left shocked, with Parliament President, Chuan Leekpai, calling on first-aiders to help. Visan was subsequently taken to hospital and later apologised for the shock he caused. He says the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha must listen to the protesters, rather than resorting to the use of force and standing behind the fence of legal barriers put in place by the unelected NCPO.

Since mid-July, anti-government protesters, primarily students and the younger population, have been taking to the streets with a list of demands. They include the PM’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, and fresh elections. They are also calling for a re-write of the 2017 constitution and for reform of the monarchy.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Royalists crowd Bangkok’s Lumpini Park to support Thai Monarchy

Caitlin Ashworth

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Royalists crowd Bangkok’s Lumpini Park to support Thai Monarchy | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

Bangkok’s Lumpini Park was crowded with royalists yesterday afternoon after gathering to show their support and respect for the institution of the Thai Monarchy. The gathering is in response to a series of pro-democracy protests over the past 2 weeks, specifically, and the the last 3 months more generally, calling on government reform and questioning the role of His Majesty the King’s political activities during his time in Germany.

Royalists massed to show their respect for the Thai Monarchy, all dressed in yellow, the colour that symbolises the royal institution. Some held photos of the royal family including Rama IX and Rama X. They shouted “We love the King. Long Live the King.”

The royalists also called on pro-democracy protesters to stop making remarks, they say, are offensive to the Thai Monarchy. Last month, pro-government leader Tul Sithisomwang filed police complaints against 3 pro-reform leaders for allegedly violating Thailand’s lèse majesté law, which prohibits insults or comments that defame the Thai Monarchy.

A smaller group of royalists gathered in the morning outside the United States Embassy in Bangkok and called on the American government to end a so-called hybrid war, accusing them of “interfering” with Thai politics and internal affairs.

The royalists also plan to rally outside the French Embassy and the Japanese Embassy, countries they say are also subverting the Thai Monarchy, without any specific evidence.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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