Monday, March 08, 2021

Thanathorn in trouble for speaking up about royal link with Covid-19 vaccine plan

Jan 20. 2021
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By THE NATION

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry has filed lese majeste charges against Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit for his statement on Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccination plans and linking it to a royally owned pharmaceutical company.

Thanathorn also faces charges of violating the Computer Crime Act.

On Wednesday afternoon, DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta tasked vice minister Newin Chochaiyathip to ensure Thanathorn reported to the Technology Crime Suppression Division.

On Monday, Thanathorn went on Facebook Live to slam the government for its tardiness in providing Covid-19 vaccines and pointed out that the company – Siam Bioscience – tasked with manufacturing the vaccine locally is owned by the King.

Thanathorn said the government claims to have approved a vaccine plan from the first quarter of last year, but Siam Bioscience was only added to the plan in the second quarter of 2020 – when anti-establishment protesters began holding their rallies. Hence, he asked whether the AstraZeneca-Siam Bioscience deal was politically motivated.

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