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Pro-democracy rally leaders questioned over usage of donated funds after injuries

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Pro-democracy rally leaders are being questioned by followers over the usage of donation funds after a volunteer protest guard was shot and injured.  Netizens took to social media to ask what “fairy godmother” Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn were buying with the donation money, prompting them to make an announcement on Thursday.

The announcement came after the rally on Wednesday at the Siam Commercial Bank HG, in which the “magic team” as dubbed by the leaders themselves, said they would channel all their efforts into taking care of injured protesters from December 2 onwards. Such criticisms of how Inthira and Pakorn were spending the donations have been trending on social media for days with questions such as the ones seen below.

“Guards on the frontline have no protective gear, yet 20,000 baht was spent on an army of inflatable aliens.”

But the pair of leaders say it was not possible to provide bulletproof vests or anti-riot shields because these were controlled items, and instead they say they bought safety helmets with donors’ money. As for the yellow duck props, they say they were donated and the duo spent their own money on matching duck accessories. When asked for a detailed list of how the donations were spent, however, the pair said “it would be too complicated” to explain.

Inthira says an accountant would have to be hired to detail the way in which the donations were used. But she added that she would return the money to donors who were unhappy with how their money was being spent. Furthermore, she says the donors should remain anonymous.

“Just show me a copy of the transfer and I will return your donation.”

Despite the criticisms, Friday’s protest at Bangkok’s Lat Phrao intersection still featured the yellow ducks with Pakorn and Inthira gracing the scene with big smiles. Pakorn took to social media later announcing the return of donations.

“Mine and Sine’s bank accounts are now flooded with donations.”

Inthira also speculated that maybe the donors don’t want them, dubbed “the fairy godparents,” to fade from the scene.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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