By Asina Pornwasin
Many Thai Facebook users have changed their profile picture in protest against the controversial amnesty bill.
They now use a black sign with the message “against the amnesty bill” in both Thai and English to show their opposition to the bill that has sailed through its third reading in the House.
Besides the black-background photos, some with a red background have begun appearing apparently from red-shirt people, along with the message “opposed to the amnesty bill – murderers must be jailed and people must be freed”.
As more and more Facebook users join the anti-bill campaign, the profile pictures have diversified into several designs but all are concentrated on the message to stop the amnesty bill.
For example, some have a blue circle, a black square and even a LINE sticker together with the photo. Some copy the latest marketing gimmick of Coca-Cola by pasting the message “against the amnesty bill” on the side of a Coke can.
Some people are showing their backing for the bill, but with a green colour in the same shape with the message “support the amnesty bill”.
Social media users also show their stance by pressing the “Like” and “Share” buttons whenever their friends post something attacking the bill. They also keep on sharing messages that urge people to take certain actions against the bill.
Some Thais living abroad have also manifested their outrage through their Facebook profile picture.
Apisit Toompakdee, a developer in San Francisco, has a photograph of the Thai flag with the message “stop amnesty bill”.
And Yamashita Miharu, who lives in Illinois in the US, has replaced her Facebook profile picture with a black sign and the message “against the amnesty bill”.
Atiporn Chayanupatkul, an old student of Chulalongkorn University, who is now studying at Heilongjiang University in China, has sympathised with the movement to derail the amnesty bill by changing her Facebook profile picture with the same message of “against the amnesty bill” but in the Chinese language.
Aem Chumjai, an alumnus of Thammasat University, has not only ditched her Facebook profile picture for a black sign with the message “against the amnesty bill” but has also switched her cover picture for the Thai flag.
Organisations across various sectors such as business, healthcare and education are moving into cyberspace to call for volunteers to rally against the amnesty bill.
Old students of Thammasat University have announced on Facebook for all old students to demonstrate against the amnesty bill by gathering at the campus on Thursday at 9am.
The Thammasat University Student Union will post plans to take action against the amnesty bill on its Facebook page www.facebook.co/Thammasatsu today.
The community of medical students at Chulalongkorn University has also shown their disagreement with the amnesty bill on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%95%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A2%E0%B9%8C%E0%B8%88%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%AC%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AF%E0%B8%84%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%84%E0%B9%89%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%9A%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%A3%E0%B9%82%E0%B8%97%E0%B8%A9%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%A1/171242993070654.
Werakiat Aueprasertvanich, an old student of Chulalongkorn’s communication arts faculty, has invited the university’s old students to come together to demonstrate their animosity to the amnesty bill at the faculty tomorrow.
The Business Club for Democracy has raised a call for action against the amnesty bill. Like-minded people should show up at noon today along Silom Road, from Bangkok Bank’s head office to the Skytrain’s Sala Daeng Station, to whistle blow together.
At the National Institute of Development Administration, 491 lecturers have spoken out against the amnesty bill.
Academics and people in the information-technology industry have issued a letter calling for the bill’s demise, which can be found at www.facebook.com/welovethailand/posts/226259474209397.