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CIA cannot grant asylum to Thai activists, US Embassy says conspiracy theories are false

Caitlin Ashworth

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CIA cannot grant asylum to Thai activists, US Embassy says conspiracy theories are false | The Thaiger
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Some claim pro-democracy leaders have applied for political asylum in the United States and the CIA is helping them out, but the US Embassy in Bangkok says it’s not true and the claim isn’t even in line with the process for asylum in America.

Bangkok Post spoke with a US Embassy representative on the phone who says the claims about the CIA accepting bids for political asylum are completely false. First, people need to be in America to apply, not across the world in Thailand.

“To apply for asylum, an asylum seeker must be physically present in the United States. Asylum cases are processed by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, not other US agencies.”

Other rumours and conspiracy theories have been spreading, claiming the United States is meddling with Thai politics and influencing the pro-democracy movement. Some royalist protesters even gathered outside the US Embassy in Bangkok, calling for an end to a so-called “hybrid war” and demanding the American government to stop “inferring with Thai affairs.” Some claim America is funding the pro-democracy protests.

The US Embassy in Bangkok says this isn’t true. They released a statement refuting disinformation back in September after a photo taken years ago of the prior US Ambassador to Thailand and an activist leader was shared online with claims that the US is backing the pro-democracy movement.

The United States government is not funding or otherwise providing support to any of the protests in Thailand.

The United States does not support any individual or political party; we support the democratic process and the rule of law.

As friends of Thailand, we encourage all sides to continue to act with respect and restraint and engage in constructive dialogue on how to move the country forward.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | US Embassy

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 5, 2020 at 11:02 am

    If they are not aiding the protesters for democracy they should be.
    It is the duty of democratic nations to help the citizens of countries that have been taken over by dictators, to repel these tyrants.
    As they did in Iraq.

    • Avatar

      chris

      November 5, 2020 at 2:43 pm

      In NO COUNTRY is it the duty of any politician to aid the citizens of a different country.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 5, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      “As they did in Iraq.”

      … and look what that led to …

      I’m not defending SH in any way, but as a result they went from a secular country with a very effective zero tolerance policy towards terrorism to one where terrorism is an everyday occurence, exported world-wide. Hardly a good move.

      How are your efforts to help those where you are get rid of their dictator, who’s been in power for the last three decades, going?

  2. Avatar

    Gosport

    November 5, 2020 at 11:14 am

    You are kidding me ? Even washing powder can be WMD.

  3. Avatar

    Nemo

    November 5, 2020 at 11:50 am

    The Ukrainians, Libyans, Syrians and so many others are so happy with the democratic protests that were supposed to bring them a better world.

    These manipulated young people will be the good soldiers in the next war against China.

    @Toby Andrews “is the duty of democratic nations to help the citizens of countries that have been taken over by dictators, to repel these tyrants.
    As they did in Iraq.”

    Is this a joke?

    Iraq lived in peace under Saddam, without all these problems with the Islamists, you want the same chaos in Thailand?

    Thailand is not a dictatorship, you should rather take care of your friends in Saudi Arabia.

    Today, all independent countries that resist the empire are considered dictatorships.

    • Avatar

      Dreamon

      November 5, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      Update your mind, Thailandia is actually a dictatorship, pretending to be a democracy.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    November 5, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Lived in peace! what about the war with Iran?
    What about the citizens Saddam gassed?
    Well, another example. Afghanistan taken over by the Taliban.
    One of the most brutal dictatorship ever.
    Then the West arrived . . .

    • Avatar

      gosport

      November 5, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      The West has a peace plan with Taliban, the most dictatorship ever.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        November 5, 2020 at 4:36 pm

        It’s all comparative, and depends on your perspective.

        From the perspective of many Afghans, they’re better than the alternative which was / is Western-funded warlords abusing their power and their children.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      November 5, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      “Then the West arrived . . .”

      Exactly, and look at the inevitable result.

      FWIW, the Taliban were only able to rise to power in Afghanistan as the Mujahideen, who had been supported by the West in order to get rid of the Russians who had occupied the country, had degenerated into warring factions and war-lords fighting for local control and abusing their power.

      As a result, the Taliban were initially widely supported and seen as an improvement on the war-lords, who had been empowered by the West, and in some areas they still are seen as an improvement.

      Had the West done what it had promised to do and helped Afghanistan out with a few million $’s worth of schools, hospitals, roads and infrastructure everyone would have been happy and OBM would never have been allowed in, and the West would have had an ally and influence in the area. Instead they dumped the Mujahideen as soon as the Russians left, broke their promises of aid, and then spent several $trillion (with a ‘T’) turning Afghanistan and Iraq into their worst nightmare.

    • Avatar

      Nemo

      November 6, 2020 at 3:39 pm

      The crimes committed by Saddam Hussein, a dictator who was installed by the West, are only a drop in the ocean compared to the massacres and years of chaos unleashed by the US.

      Who had asked him to wage war against Iran?

      The West has provoked global shit by asking Saudi Arabia to spread Wahhabi Islam in the Muslim world in order to get free soldiers in Afghanistan.

      There is a good article on the role of Wahhabism in international terrorism by the NYT, but we can’t put a link here.

      But the Saudi Prince Bin Salam confirmed in the Washington post that the US has asked them to build mosques and Islamic school in the Muslim world in order to have soldiers in Afghanistan.

      All terrorists of Al Qaeda, IS, Boko Haram have been turned into Islamists in these schools.

      And during the last US elections, Trump had accused H Clinton and Obama of creating the Islamic state.

      A French general also said so in a report to the French Senate.

      Wahhabi terrorists have after Afghanistan been used in the countries of the former USSR to fight pro-Russian, Chechnya, Iraq, Libya, Syria and so many other countries to overthrow governments.

      They are sometimes called rebels, freedom fighters or terrorists, but they have the same ideology that they fight for or officially against the West.

      It is also these same Wahhabi trained by Saudi Arabia and supported by the West that triggered the problems in Myanmar with the Rohingyas and in China with the Uighurs.

      Always for the interests of…

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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.

Protests

US senators introduce resolution in support of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement

Maya Taylor

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US senators introduce resolution in support of Thailand’s pro-democracy movement | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Getty Images

The US Senate has called on the Thai government to end violence against political activists, as it introduced a resolution in support of the pro-democracy movement. 9 members of Congress introduced the resolution, including Thai-American senator Tammy Duckworth, who has previously served in the US military.

“As a Thai-American who fought to protect the right to peacefully protest here at home, I know that both the longstanding, strong relationship between the US and Thailand as well as every individual’s inalienable democratic rights are critically important to uphold and defend. Thailand is a strong partner with the US, both in terms of our shared national security priorities and economic relations, and the Thai people have a proud history of democratic reform. I urge Thai leadership to listen to the people and respect the democratic principles at the heart of the government they’ve worked so hard to form.”

A press release from the Senate says the resolution, “underscores the United States’ commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Thailand. The senators’ resolution follows recent demonstrations by Thailand’s pro-democracy movement, which have been met with violence and repression by the country’s monarchy and government.”

The resolution says the military-drafted 2017 Constitution is at the root of the problem, accusing it of eroding democracy and the protection of citizens’ rights in the Kingdom. It points out that in the 2019 election, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha managed to maintain his grip on power through the support of an unelected Senate appointed by the military. The election is seen by many independent monitoring groups as having been deeply flawed and skewed in favour of the PM and his administration.

The resolution also criticises the dissolution of the opposition party, Future Forward, saying that process too was flawed and based on spurious accusations. It also claims the Thai government has not done enough to investigate the enforced disappearances and killings of Thai political activists elsewhere in Asia.

The government’s response to the ongoing political protests has also come in for criticism, with the resolution saying it consists of, “intimidation tactics, surveillance, harassment, arrests, violence and imprisonment”, prompting UNICEF to voice concern over the risks to children attending political rallies.

Meanwhile, Senator Bob Menendez says pro-democracy activists in Thailand are only seeking what’s fair.

“Thailand’s reformers are not seeking a revolution. They are simply yearning for democratic changes to their country’s political system, for freedom of speech and assembly, and for Thailand to be a part of the community of democratic nations.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A student protest leader is facing charges of contempt after he made statements on Facebook critical of the Constitutional Court ruling to acquit PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing the Thai prime minister and former Army General to continue occupying a military-owned residence. Critics have argued that allowing Prayut, a retired general, to say at the Army residence is a conflict of interest.

Director of the Constitutional Court’s litigation office and police officer, Montri Daengsri, filed the charge against pro-democracy protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak. Montri says the Facebook posts made by Penguin were defamatory to the court and had tarnished its reputation.

In addition to the Facebook posts, Montri says the protest leader made an offensive speech following the court ruling at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. He says the speech was defamatory and violated Thailand’s Criminal Code. Police are investigating the claims to determine if charges should be pressed.

Prayut occupies a military reception house at the 1st Infantry Regiment residential area on Phahon Yothin in Bangkok, according to the Royal Thai Army. Tenants in army welfare houses have to pay for utility bills while those who live in the reception houses, like retirees, do not pay for household expenses and the utility bill is covered by the Army.

The Constitutional Court ruled this week that Prayut did not violate the Charter by occupying the residence. The court says under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement at the discretion of the Thai Army commander.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety

Maya Taylor

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Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.prachachat.net

Protest leader Panusaya Sitthijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, has been pictured consoling a young schoolgirl who broke down in tears, concerned about the activist’s safety. Rattapol Kaiipah Promsuwan, who witnessed the exchange, has shared a photo of the moment on social media. She says the girl, who is in Grade 6 (making her around 11 years old), had gone to the organisers’ area during Wednesday’s rally at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. There, she asked to meet Panusaya, a hero of hers.

The girl’s sister says her sibling has an interest in politics and is concerned about reports that Panusaya faces lèse majesté charges. Thailand’s lèse majesté law prohibits insulting, defaming or threatening the nation’s revered Monarchy, and carries a punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. During her meeting with Panusaya, the girl cried for half an hour, with the student activist trying to console her, and a Facebook photo showing her hugging the child.

Panusaya has received a new summons from the Technology Crime Suppression Division, as a result of a police complaint lodged by royalist supporter, Nitipong Honark, a music composer. She is now being summonsed on December 9, to hear additional charges of lèse majesté and violating the Computer Crimes Act .

Meanwhile, the BBC has named her in its list of the world’s 100 most influential and inspirational women of 2020.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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