Apparently, one million people want to expel Amnesty International from Thailand. The vice minister of the Prime Minister’s office says he’s collected one million signatures in his campaign to withdrawal the non-profit organisation’s operating license.
The vice minister, who some call “Rambo Isaan,” accuses the NGO of being a threat to the country. Amnesty International Thailand has been a vocal advocate for human rights during the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, calling on an end to police violence on protesters and for detained protestors to be released.
The vice minister, Seksakol Atthawong, is pushing a bill that will require NGOs to reveal their sources of financial support, both local and international, among other financial details. It also demands that NGOs not organise activities determined to undermine national security or create conflict in Thai society.
According to a poll by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) that Seksakol cited, 52.36% of respondents agree that NGOs should disclose their funding sources. This percentage is 58.14 for NGOs that receive foreign funding. 34.7% of respondents agree that NGOs must not participate in affairs determined to threaten national security or create conflict.
Seksakol and his supporter view Amnesty International as threatening national security. The organisation has faced threats in Thailand in the past. Police investigated it in November upon a request by a network claiming it undermined security. Members of the network, among other groups, rallied outside Silom Complex that month, also hoping to expel AI from the country.
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