After discussing Egypt’s 2011 Revolution, I began thinking more and more about how social media affects politics and how easy it is to be swayed, or to engage, in revolutions and protests and educating others (I mean this is happening right now across college campuses, as we recently experienced).

Something I immediately thought of was Thailand and their current military coup (or dictatorship—it’s basically synonymous). In Thailand, everyone loves the King. Or most everyone does. It is instilled within us (speaking as a Thai native) at a young age to love and respect the King. The King is the longest standing monarch in the world right now, having served for over 69 years. And that’s not to say I don’t agree with that; I see and respect the good changes the King has made for our country, and I love and honor him like most Thais do. I inherently believe he is not the core root of the governmental issues occurring in Thailand (Thailand, typically, is a democratic monarchy, with an elected parliament and a monarchy that kind of oversees everything). I will say that it disheartens me when people speak ill of the king, however, I will also say that every citizen of Thailand should have the right to say whatever they feel about the king and the government. Currently in Thailand, there is a Lèse Majesté Law, meaning that you can go to prison for speaking poorly about the Thai royal family. Since the military coup began in May of 2014, there have been over 40 cases of people speaking out against the King and ruling body, mostly online in social media. People are afraid to speak out because they are scared of the torment they may endure in prison. The Thai governing body is trying to silence the people, and in turn are creating the foundation for a revolution.

I believe it is only a matter of time until Thailand begins a civil war—not to say clashes haven’t existed prior. I wonder how the parallels between Egypt will flourish, and what will happen when the citizens unite and rise.

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3 responses »

  1. bobb73 says:

    Really interesting to see that the Thailand government are trying to regulate Social media and actually taking action upon those who are speaking out on social media. But I definitely agree that citizens will eventually react to this as the government are trying to take their speech away from them.

  2. jivikar says:

    Hi Kat – I’m curious as to the larger socio-political context within which you say “it’s only a matter of time until Thailand begins a civil war.” Are there any articles that you have found to accurately sum up the people’s views on this issue that you can point me towards? I will do some research on my own too, but was just wondering if you knew of some un-biased, trustworthy sources yourself…

    • kthompso says:

      I guess it’s kind of hard to find completely unbiased sources because if you’re taking Western sources, they’re all inherently biased due to a Western lens on these issues, but if you’re taking sources directly from Thais they have their own perceptions on what is okay and what is culturally significant. I say what I say based on my own experiences in Thailand while I studied abroad last semester, and also my perceptions as a Thai national (was born in Bangkok, raised here, but still am very in touch with what’s happening there!).

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