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Ultraconservatives demand Trump’s pledge to stay out of Thai politics

Sep 16. 2020
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By THE NATION

Activists calling themselves “The People of Thailand” visited the US Embassy in Bangkok on Wednesday to demand assurances from President Donald Trump that his country would not meddle in Thai politics.

Former yellow shirt activist Pichit Chaimongkol was among the group who handed a letter to embassy staff. The activists thanked the US embassy for announcing previously that it had not supported anti-government protests in Thailand.

However, they demanded that Trump back up the Embassy’s position with a presidential statement.

Last week, the embassy dismissed allegations in certain sections of the Thai media that the US was supporting anti-government protests.

The allegations stem from photographs of student leader Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak meeting then-US ambassador Glyn Davies on a visit to the embassy in 2016.

The photographs were published on an English-language website called The Land Destroyer Report, which poses as a news outlet to disseminate stories alleging US influence in Thailand. The stories are regularly cited by right-wing Thai media to support their claims of “foreign meddling” in Thailand’s affairs. Land Destroyer Report and linked pages were banned by Facebook last year for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.

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