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Thread: Rumbling Begins

  1. #26
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Thai protesters openly criticize monarchy


    August 4, 2020, 3:21 AM


    Harry Potter-themed pro-democracy protest in Bangkok

    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Speakers at a Thai anti-government protest demanded reforms to the monarchy of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Monday, calling for its powers to be curbed in unusually frank public comments.

    Defaming the monarchy is punishable by up to 15 years in prison under Thailand's 'lese majeste' laws. Police did not stop the six speakers, but said that any suspected offences would be investigated.

    Many of the 200 protesters were dressed like the fictional wizard Harry Potter and other characters in what they said was a reference to vanquishing injustices under the military-backed government.

    Lawyer Anon Nampa, 34, accused the palace of taking on increasing powers that undermined democracy and of inaction in the face of attacks on opponents of the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.

    After the king took the throne in 2016, the palace required revisions to a new constitution that gave him greater emergency powers. He has since taken personal control over some army units and palace assets worth tens of billions of dollars.

    Meanwhile, some Thai activists complain of harassment by authorities, saying that at least nine opposition figures living abroad have disappeared. Two were later found dead. Reuters has not independently confirmed what happened to these opposition figures.

    "Talking about this is not an act to topple the monarchy, but to allow the monarchy to exist in Thai society in the right way and legitimately under a democratic and a constitutional monarchy," Anon told the group of around 200 at Bangkok's Democracy Monument.
    Two student groups then read out demands that started with: "Cancelling and reforming the laws that expand the power of the monarch and that could impinge on democracy where the king is the head of state."

    The Royal Palace did not answer phone calls on Monday seeking comment on the criticism.
    Deputy government spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek said it was up to police whether to act against the protesters
    "The government wants the young protesters to observe the laws so that they can continue to exercise their rights to make their demands and the country can stay peaceful," she said.

    The students from Mahanakorn and Kaset universities also called on the authorities to listen to the protesters and to reform the 'lese majeste' laws that ban criticism of the monarchy.

    Student protests to demand the resignation of Prayuth's government and a new constitution now happen almost daily. While some placards have made veiled criticism of the monarchy, this is the first time it has been open.
    Police officer Surapong Thammapitak said: "We cannot yet determine what offences have been committed ... Any offences under any laws will be processed for the investigators."

    Prayuth said in a speech in June that there have been no prosecutions under the 'lese majeste' laws recently, at the king's request, but warned against criticising the monarchy.

    Criticism was exceedingly rare under the king's father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose 70 year reign ended with his death in 2016.
    "Such open criticism of Thailand’s monarch by non-elites at a public place within Thailand — with the police simply standing by — is the first of its kind in Thai history," said Paul Chambers, who teaches international affairs at Thailand's Naresuan University.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #27
    Super Expat Plan B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Lawyer Anon Nampa, 34, accused the palace of taking on increasing powers that undermined democracy and of inaction in the face of attacks on opponents of the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former junta leader.
    Hopefully that is because they are anon and not their actual name.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    The pro-democracy Future Forward Party (FFP), with its charismatic leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, garnered the third-largest share of seats and was particularly popular with young, first-time voters.
    The junta should have just manufactured some phony crime to hang over his head to keep him in line, instead of using it up front to dissolve the party. (Realpolitik)



    Sign written in English??

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent_Smith View Post
    Sign written in English??
    What is scaring the junta the most. These kids are educated and angry. Has anyone seen the "new" national anthem put up as a parody by the protesters? I am not going to put it up for obvious reasons but have a google. Funny and very "sarcastic".

  5. #30
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    I'd be happy enough if they just outlaw military coups; that would be a good start toward whatever they think democracy is.

  6. #31
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Surely the unattractive change of management is of more import than educational standards.

    Something the UK and Commonwealth will be going through relatively soon too.

  7. #32
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    and just how do u outlaw military coups

  8. #33
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    in the uk the military is owned by the gov, in los gov is owned by the military

  9. #34
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  10. #35
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    yes it sure looks like a movement in the direction of democracy,, will it end in violence. i read posts on F/B this morn to bring back taksin. just maybe.

  11. #36
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lob View Post
    i read posts on F/B this morn to bring back taksin
    ...except, of course, that Taksin has more to do with kleptocracy than democracy...

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    What is scaring the junta the most. These kids are educated and angry. Has anyone seen the "new" national anthem put up as a parody by the protesters? I am not going to put it up for obvious reasons but have a google. Funny and very "sarcastic".
    Thai Visa often publishes Reuters articles in their news section. Do you think they will publish ^^^^^^^^ that one?

  13. #38
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    I don't think they would like to tinker with this, maybe a mild reference to the event for info purposes but no 'opinions'.

  14. #39
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    Change will only come from the youth. Voldemort is strong within the older generation.

  15. #40
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    Rumbling Begins-7b474f69-e24f-4e9c-b2ba-66ad2286be38-jpeg
    A fine-looking young woman with an opinion and courage.
    Totally hot ....

  16. #41
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lob View Post
    yes it sure looks like a movement in the direction of democracy,, will it end in violence. i read posts on F/B this morn to bring back taksin. just maybe.
    Same old song.
    Might be even more practical and worthy to move on from this fading romance of the old guard associated with the Shinawatras.

    How about fresh faces with new and positive directions.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    How about fresh faces with new and positive directions.
    That is just what happened. The junta banned the new party that had new and positive ideas. Hence the protests.

  18. #43
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    You OK HL?

  19. #44
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HuangLao View Post
    Same old song.
    Might be even more practical and worthy to move on from this fading romance of the old guard associated with the Shinawatras.

    How about fresh faces with new and positive directions.
    Seems totally counter to the imposed conservatism of the Thai establishment, where new ideas are a threat to old guard.

    Going back a while and Shinawatra was that new face with new ideas, ok yes we know with a bit of looting, but offering tokens to the people which upset the real powers; first to serve a full term, and get reelected, by which time enough was enough and you end up with blood on the streets with supposedly neutral figures understandably supporting their own survival.

    For me, can't see any constitutional changes that would be acceptable to both people and power, and I still prefer Lays original to those fancy flavours.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...except, of course, that Taksin has more to do with kleptocracy than democracy...
    Red shirts, red states same same. Make Thailand Great Again.

    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a coup against Trump?

  21. #46
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    In PI, political rallies and movements are becoming a profitable way of life for the masses. If you attend those rallies, you can see some familiar faces present in those events. For most people who are in it for the quick peso, It doesn't really matter if it's pro or against the
    government. It's all about who pays the most per rally.

    The principles and ideals are there... Sure, they are fighting for something, but for the uneducated masses who find themselves in one-day, one-eat situations or no work, no pay situations, the principles and ideals take a back-seat.
    Last edited by GracelessFawn; 05-08-2020 at 02:27 PM.
    I am so unlucky that if I fall into a barrel full of D*ick**s, I'd come out sucking my own thumb!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickel View Post
    Wouldn't it be nice if there was a coup against Trump?
    The coups in the US are sponsored by corporations and the media, not the military. And they are regularly scheduled events.

  23. #48
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Hundreds protest in Bangkok after activist arrests

    Lillian SUWANRUMPHA
    August 8, 2020, 7:05 PM



    Thailand has seen near-daily rallies in recent weeks with mainly young protesters denouncing the government of former military leader Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-ChaA flashmob of hundreds took to Bangkok's streets Saturday to protest against the arrest of two pro-democracy activists -- the latest outburst of anger in a movement increasingly vocal in its demand for reforms in Thailand.

    The kingdom has seen near-daily rallies in recent weeks with mainly young protesters denouncing the government of former military leader Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

    Two protest leaders were arrested Friday evening on eight charges, including sedition and breaking coronavirus rules about gatherings at a rally held at Bangkok's Democracy Monument on July 18.

    Human rights lawyer Anon Numpa, 35, and activist Panupong Jadnok, 24, were released on bail Saturday afternoon, on condition they would not repeat the alleged offences.

    On his release outside the city's criminal court, Anon said he would abide by the terms.
    "Our demands for a re-writing of the constitution and a rejection of the coup are constitutional," he told waiting reporters.
    But the bail decision did not deter a flashmob of around 1,000 protesters taking over a major junction in the Thai capital, the largest since the contentious rally three weeks earlier.

    Crowds cheered and applauded the speakers on stage in the pouring rain, many holding up the three-finger protest salute inspired by "The Hunger Games" movie franchise.

    "If we burn, you burn with us," said one placard, continuing the theme.
    Another referenced the musical "Les Miserables" with a sign reading: "This is the song of angry people".

    Former military leader Prayut held onto power after a national election last year, but the protesters regard his government as a legacy of a royalist junta regime.
    Some have even dared challenge Thailand's controversial lese majeste law, which protects the monarchy and its super-rich King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism.
    Carrying a sentence of up to 15 years per charge, it is one of the harshest laws of its kind in the world, making open scrutiny of the royal family virtually impossible.
    No charges have so far been filed under the draconian law against the protesters.

    Thailand's economy has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic, laying bare the inequalities of a society perceived to favour the elite, pro-military establishment.
    Last edited by tomcat; 09-08-2020 at 06:51 AM.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    which protects the monarchy and its super-rich King Maha Vajiralongkorn from criticism.
    Interesting to use the descriptor "super rich". It sounds a bit pejorative.

    I don't recall such use a few years ago. Perhaps the "love" is different for the new Elvis?

  25. #50
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    While western uprisings have resulted in a fairer deal for the masses, 3W generally end up with worse than before.

    If Thai rumblings reach that stage, and successfully, does anyone expect better than a new set of dictators?

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