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Some claim “invisible Western hands” back Thailand’s pro-democracy movement

Caitlin Ashworth

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Some claim “invisible Western hands” back Thailand’s pro-democracy movement | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: @justin_th_th
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As the pro-democracy movement spreads, some are speaking out and accusing Western countries – specifically the United States – of “interfering” with Thai politics and backing the student-led protests. A commentator for the Chinese Community Party tabloid Global Times even said the Thai youth are being used as “cannon fodder by the US and its proxies.”

Pro-democracy activists say this isn’t the case and their movement spurs from years of discontent with Thailand’s politics. Activists are calling on reform on both the military-run government and the monarchy as well as a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution. They’re also pushing PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to resign.

Thai PBS says conspiracy theorists have named the United States as the main “foreign hand” backing the pro-democracy protests.

In the opinion piece published in the Global Times, Yu Qun, deputy director of the Military Diplomacy Research Center at China’s National University of Defense Technology, said he believes the United States government is trying to overthrow Thailand’s current political system.

The Thai government and mainstream media believe that anti-government forces in the country have colluded with the US and other Western countries to use young people with the ultimate goal to overthrow the current political system in Thailand. Those forces aim to bring in pro-West political proxies to rule the country with Western-styled democracy. It is essentially a “color revolution.”

This is in line with the US’ general practice. The US manipulated color revolutions in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and other countries and regions for its political intentions, leaving many countries in a mess, threatening regional and world peace and stability.

It is unclear whether the Thai young generation, who are currently being used as cannon fodder by the US and its proxies, actually understand that a color revolution is not as beautiful nor peaceful as portrayed.

Some royalists have also accused the US of a so-called “hybrid war.” Last week, a group gathered outside the United States Embassy in Bangkok and called on the American government to stop interfering with Thailand politics. One sign read “Stop hybrid war. Please return peace to the world.”

Last year, Thailand’s then-Army Commander-in-Chief General Apirat Kongsompong warned that Thailand was facing “hybrid warfare” waged by a “ill-intentioned politicians.” He also accused some of the “foreign educated” academics with leftist views of being “masterminds” behind many anti-government and anti-military activities.

Some recently accused the US government of backing Thailand’s recent student protests after photos of a former US Ambassador to Thailand and pro-democracy student leader were shared online. The US Embassy then released a statement saying embassy personnel regularly meet with many different people throughout Thailand and the meetings do not imply endorsement of any views.

“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.”

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Global Times| US Embassy Bangkok

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Avatar

    James

    November 2, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    To all the second class farang people living in Thailand who are living on yearly retirement or other temporary visas.

    I said a few years ago Thailand is moving closer to China and farangs from the West would be blamed for things they have nothing to do with and be used as a scapegoat and life would get harder for them there.

    So start making long term future plans now as you will not be welcome there long-term in the future, you will be able to go as one of the 30 million tourists with China making up most of the tourists but you will not be welcome to stay there long term.

    The relatively few numbers of farang long term stayers with their small pensions contribute very little to the economy compared to the vast number of tourists spending thousands of baht a day each, so you are disposable when compared to trade with China.

    • Avatar

      Buster

      November 2, 2020 at 5:07 pm

      True. Its time to go before you are ejected. You contribute peanuts.

    • Avatar

      Malc Thai

      November 2, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      So to get a retirement visa you have to show a monthly income of ฿65,000 a month ? You think that’s too small to live on in Thailand and not wanted here

  2. Avatar

    Mr Brian Raymond Appleyard

    November 2, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Thailand was targeted by the Obama administration.i hope TRUMP can undo the damage to Thailand .He is the only word leader at the moment. Not looking to become a communes dicteral run country

    • Avatar

      sam thompson

      November 2, 2020 at 6:05 pm

      Good grief with a name like Brian Raymond Appleyard, you are likely to be a native English speaker. Your comment ends in pure gibberish and was not that clever at the beginning, Trump is the only dicteral [sic] named in your disingenuous, inaccurate and gullible post.

  3. Avatar

    Fabian

    November 2, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Of course, China is looking for another autocratic ally to establish an unprecedented world domination. China is doing very nasty scary things, it should worry us all.

  4. Avatar

    Hans Eriksson

    November 2, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    The thai economy will be realy bad when the farang stop go to Thailand and Thailand can not export more girls to western contreys. The girls are sending home billions of bath every year

    • Avatar

      Johnny Rambo

      November 3, 2020 at 2:10 am

      Never p*** off those who are feeding you. Without the farangs Thailand wont survive long.

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    November 2, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    “A commentator for the Chinese Community Party tabloid Global Times even said the Thai youth are being used…” – considering the source I find it hard to believe anyone is naïve enough to take this seriously.

  6. Avatar

    Johnny Rambo

    November 3, 2020 at 1:24 am

    It’s time for the West to sanction Thailand and to teach this minion of China a lesson it will never forget.

  7. Avatar

    Dreamon

    November 3, 2020 at 2:29 am

    it’s more and even more 1984

  8. Avatar

    Sam

    November 3, 2020 at 9:15 am

    The Thai Baht remains super strong even when the economy is seriously buffeted by no tourists…why? one word, 5 letters…starts with C ends with a

    The current rulers are merely (wealthy) puppets of that same word. I admire the young Thais for wanting proper and decent government and fair elections, but they have a seriously massive task ahead of them, the West should support them and all Thais to achieve genuine Democracy

  9. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    November 3, 2020 at 10:13 am

    China is preparing an invasion with their high-speed rail link with Thailand and down the peninsula into Malaysia…and all the Thais can think of is, “Look at the money that Chinese tourists bring us”.

    The price will be much higher than they want to pay.

    Western hands influencing Thai protesters? Nah, incompetent government is influencing Thai protesters.

  10. Avatar

    TS

    November 3, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Retirement visa- 65,000 b each mo (FTT code) or 800K in the bk. for 3 mos.
    Marriage visa- 40,000 (FTT) each mo or 400k in bk.
    No skipping mos. Also, something new- they wanted to see docs. on source of income from my country
    24 hr. bank letter for past 1 yr. deposits. (takes about 1 week for bkk bank- sent from bangkok) Copies of all pages bank book.
    All imm. ofices different and subject to change of rules. Best go in one month early to see excactly what you need

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

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.

Thailand

Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Shots fired, the yellow ducks, “no coup” promise | November 26 | The Thaiger

Today’s news includes some live footage of the explosion and chaos at last night’s rally outside the Siam Commercial Bank building. Here we go with today’s Thailand news.

An explosion and gunshots fired at last night’s protest outside the Siam Commercial Bank HQ

There were reports of shootings and the throwing of an explosive device, caught on video at last night’s protest out the front of the Siam Commercial Bank HQ.

2 people were shot and injured in the chaos that erupted as people were starting to head home after the rally at about 10.10pm.

Firstly there was a man, dressed in a bike helmet, caught on camera hurling some explosive, through to be a pipe bomb, into a crowd of protesters. After the explosion there was up to 4 gunshots fired. A gunman was apprehended whilst other alleged shooters escaped into the crowd. Both the injured protesters were rushed to hospital. The protesters had their own security contingent present at yesterday’s rally, some 50 volunteers, who co-operated with police in their immediate investigation into the incident.

Yellow ducks dominate at Bangkok pro-democracy rally

Speaking about the protests, what is it about the yellow inflatable ducks that keep popping up at the rallies?

Having been used at protests in Hong Kong earlier this year, the rubber duck has also become a regular feature at the Thai protests, a symbol of mutual support between both pro-democracy movements. And, more practically, became a useful defensive shield to fend off the water cannons and anything else that ended up hurled at the protesters.

At yesterday’s rally outside the SCB building, the duck could be seen everywhere, with enterprising vendors selling t-shirts, toys, hats, torches and hair pins, all bearing the yellow duck’s image.

Yesterday’s protest was originally set to take place at the Crown Property Bureau, but organisers took to social media the night before to announce a change of location to the SCB headquarters. Protest leaders say the change was to avoid a confrontation with royalists who, they claim, were being deliberately sent to provoke them.

10 passengers injured after Bangkok-Chiang Khong bus crashes into tree

10 people were injured and sent to the hospital after a bus driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree early this morning.

The double-decker passenger bus on the Bangkok-Chiang Khong route was passing through the Phitsanulok province in Central Thailand when the driver lost control and crashed into a tree on the side of the road. The incident happened at 2:50am.

Thai PM insists martial law will not be used against protesters

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he has no intention of resorting to martial law to put an end to the current political impasse and protests. He says that existing laws provide enough scope for dealing with those who take matters into their own hand.

But the then General Prayut, head of the Thai army, made similar assurances in the latter stages of the Yingluck Shinawatra government before he led the NCPO in a bloodless military coup against her government in May 2014.

City officials plan to demolish abandoned Pattaya condo project

After years of talks, threats, and complaints, the abandoned Waterfront condo development overlooking Pattaya’s Bali Hai pier looks set to be demolished.

The Waterfront Suites and Residence is a half-finished condo project that was stalled in 2014 after safety inspectors discovered that the building’s fire escapes and elevator systems designs varied from the already approved construction designs.

Now Pattaya’s mayor says officials plan to tear down what many have condemned as an eyesore, “as soon as possible”, and charge the owners for the costs of the demolition.

The Israeli-owned development company, Bali Hai, are accused of violating building regulations, by building a structure that exceeds the legal height limit, as well as restrictions on proximity to the beach. Local residents have also complained that the development obstructs the panoramic vista of the bay from Pattaya Hill.

Ex-Thai Airways official gets fat prison sentence for failing to pay excess baggage fees

You’ll never complain about excess baggage charges after hearing what happened to a former Chairman of Thai Airways who’s ended up with a 2 year prison sentence for fudging his baggage allowance on a flight back in 2009.

The former chair for the airline has been sentenced to 2 years in jail because he didn’t pay for 300 kilograms of excess baggage. The court says he abused his authority by ordering airline staff to change the stated weight of luggage so he could get out of paying excess baggage fees.

The judge says the sentence could not be suspended. Ex Chairman Wallop’s lawyers say they will appeal the harsh sentence.

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Thailand

Royal Thai Army denies claims about Twitter campaign to spread pro-government propaganda

Caitlin Ashworth

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Royal Thai Army denies claims about Twitter campaign to spread pro-government propaganda | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Following a shutdown of 926 Twitter accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army, documents were leaked of what appears to be a contract between the Army and a private company supposedly hired to spread pro-government propaganda.

Army chief Narongphan Jitkaewtae denies the claims and says the Army never hired a company to spread pro-government propaganda through the Twitter accounts.

Last month, Twitter announced that it had suspended 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army for violating the social media company’s “platform manipulation” policies.

A report by Stanford Internet Observatory’s Cyber Policy Centre says the Army used Twitter to “cheerlead” with pro-government propaganda. The report says the Army used Twitter to criticise the now disbanded Future Forward Party and neutralism criticism after February’s mass shooting where an Army soldier killed 30 people and injured 57 others.

Former Future Forward Party spokesperson Pannika Wanich says members of the opposition plan to sue the Army for “using tax money to cause divisions and hatred among Thais.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Bangkok

Thai officials approve transfer of 3 Iranians involved in 2012 botched bomb plot in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai officials approve transfer of 3 Iranians involved in 2012 botched bomb plot in Bangkok | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thai authorities are transferring 3 Iranian inmates to Tehran. The inmates were involved in the 2012 failed bomb plot, which Israeli and Thai officials say, was targeted at Israeli diplomats in Bangkok.

According to Iranian state TV, the transfer was a swap. The report says 33 year old British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was incarcerated for the past 2 years on espionage charges, was released from Iran prison in exchange for the 3 Iranians imprisoned overseas.

Although Iranian media reports the transfer was a prisoner swap, Thai officials have not confirmed the reports. Thailand’s deputy general Chatchom Akapin says the transfers are normal and Thailand approved the transfer in an agreement with Iran.

“These types of transfers aren’t unusual… We transfer prisoners to other countries and at the same time receive Thais back under this type of agreement all the time.”

Back in 2012, a cache of homemade explosives accidentally blew up at a Bangkok villa on Sukhumvit 71 rented by the Iranians. Saeid Moradi fled the home carrying explosives, but dropped them as police chased him. He lost both his legs in the explosion.

While both Thai and Israeli officials say the explosives were intended to attack Israeli diplomats in Bangkok, Iran officials deny the allegations. The men never faced terrorism charges or any charges relating to attempting to kill the Israeli diplomats.

Moradi along with his accomplice, Mohammad Kharzei, were convicted in 2013. Thai Court sentenced Moradi to life in prison for attempting to murder a police officer and sentenced Kharzei to 15 years in prison for possessing explosives. Another suspect, Masoud Sedaghatzadeh, was arrested in Malaysia in 2012 and then extradited to Thailand in 2017.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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