Thursday, August 13, 2020

Thai PM Right to Question Protest Funding

The notorious US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is funding virtually every aspect of Thailand's current "student protests."  

August 14, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - Only through repetitive propaganda across the Western media and their local partners in Thailand can current protests appear "student led," "leaderless," and "organic."

An article published by the Bangkok Post titled, "PM: Who is financing student rallies?," would repeat Thailand's elected prime minister's questions, but Bangkok Post's reporters themselves have categorically failed to either ask or answer the same question.

Despite claiming the protests are youth-led and leaderless, middle-aged lawyer Anon Nampa of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) is clearly among the core leaders. He leads every significant protest in the country, both in Bangkok and upcountry.

His organization, TLHR, ceaselessly promotes the protests, providing them round-the-clock PR, legal aid, and other forms of material support.

TLHR is in turn funded by the US government via the notorious regime change front - the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). TLHR's funding was listed openly on NED's official website in 2014.

Before TLHR and its members began leading rallies - founding members admitted TLHR is entirely funded by foreign governments. 

Even the Bangkok Post previously reported this - despite apparently "forgetting" this fact more recently. 

The Bangkok Post in a 2016 article titled, "The lawyer preparing to defend herself," would admit:

...[TLHR] receives all its funding from international donors including the EU, Germany and US-based human rights organisations and embassies of the UK and Canada.
In addition to the award presented by the French Embassy, the US State Department awarded TLHR member  Sirikan “June” Charoensiri the 2018 "International Women of Courage Award" presented by US First Lady Melania Trump.

The US embassy in Bangkok openly praised TLHR in its own post celebrating the award, exclaiming:

The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is proud of Sirikan “June” Charoensiri’s work as a lawyer and human rights defender, and for being recognized by the Secretary of State as an International Women of Courage award recipient.

Ms. Sirikan is a co-founder of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), a lawyers’ collective set up to provide pro bono legal services for human rights cases and to document human rights violations.
Thus - an organization carefully cultivated by the US government for years - propped up financially and politically and even awarded for carrying out Washington's agenda in Thailand - is now leading protests aimed at overthrowing the elected government of Thailand.

This is not unlike US-backed regime change aimed at nations like Syria, Libya, and Ukraine where false claims of the US promoting "democracy" or "defending human rights" later turned out to be simply naked military aggression couched behind such pretexts and all aimed at wrecking nations, pilfering resources, and denying Washington's adversaries - China and Russia - stable allies and economic partners.

In addition to TLHR the US government is also funding iLaw.

The US-funded iLaw is currently heading a petition to literally rewrite Thailand's constitution, as reported by The Nation's article, "iLaw launches petition for charter rewrite."

It would be unimaginable for the US to tolerate a foreign-funded front - say from Russia - petitioning inside the US for the US constitution to be rewritten. It would be interesting to hear the US embassy in Bangkok explain why it believes Thailand should nonetheless tolerate similar interference in its own internal political affairs by the US and agitators it is extensively funding.

There are also a number of fake news websites funded by the US government and providing decidedly lopsided coverage of the ongoing protests including Prachatai.

Prachatai receives millions of Thai Baht a year from the US government to advance narratives that divide and destabilize Thailand and promote US interests within Thai borders.

The media front's "executive director" Chiranuch Premchaiporn is also a "fellow" of the National Endowment for Democracy -  an organization chaired by representatives not of promoting democracy and human rights - but inveterate warmongers and war criminals like Elliot Abrams, propagandists like Anne Applebaum, and representatives of America's arms, oil, and banking sectors.

Prachatai's activities include promoting and defending opposition groups and parties the US seeks to place into power. It has recently served as a central platform promoting ongoing unrest, protesters' demands, and attempting to build legitimacy around all three while omitting any mention of documented foreign funding or ulterior motives involved. 

Prachatai has in the past and still currently hides its US government funding. A partial disclosure made in 2011 is buried on its English website and has not been updated since. No financial disclosure at all has been made on its Thai language website.

Often the Western media and local newspapers like the Bangkok Post and the Nation will mention all of these US-funded fronts in a single article and never once mention who funds them or their connections to opposition parties attempting to deny any role in current protests.

Prachatai - for example - supplied at least one member of its staff - Nalutporn Krairisksh - as a "founding member" of billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's Future Forward Party. Prachatai even "interviewed" her but never disclosed her relationship with Prachatai or the fact that she still worked out of their offices even after joining Future Forward.

The conflicts of interest are numerous and alarming - but also being entirely unmentioned or even covered up. It is impropriety that should help further illustrate the true nature of Thailand's so-called "opposition" and undermine dishonest claims that US interference in Thailand is not a serious problem. 

That the US government is funding protest leaders attempting to oust the current government, while funding efforts to rewrite Thailand's constitution, all while funding media fronts to control the narrative while doing so - constitutes a clear cut case of foreign political meddling - the sort of toxic and intolerable meddling the US accused Russia of in fiction - but is verifiably carrying out against nations like Thailand. 

The US has insisted it should not suffer or tolerate foreign meddling in its own domestic affairs. Why does it believe other nations should tolerate foreign meddling? And why does the US believe it has the right to be the one who does so? 

Thailand: A Loud Minority Backed by a Fugitive Billionaire is not "Pro-Democracy"

August 14, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - A loud minority led by a corrupt billionaire fugitive has nothing to do with democracy. A recent rally at Thammasat University led by the so-called "student protesters" themselves - helped finally shed all doubt as to who they serve and what agenda they serve.

Image: Every major rally of this "leaderless" "youth" protest has been led by Anon Nampa - a middle-aged lawyer funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy - a front chaired by pro-war corporate interests and notorious for backing regime change around the globe. 
English-language Thai newspaper The Nation in its article, "Protesters up pressure for monarchy debate with 10-point manifesto," would claim:
The latest call for debate on the monarchy came on Monday during a rally by more than 2,500 protesters at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus in Greater Bangkok.
The article would also admit:
Lawyer and activist Anon Nampa, who is out on bail after rally-related charges, took to the stage again to insist that people should be able to question the role of monarchy in public and not be threatened for exercising their right to free speech.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a political academic self-exiled in Japan, appeared via video during the rally to support Anon’s speech and insist that public debate on the monarchy was a good thing.

Three (Different) Points

First: Thammasat University has over 33,000 students meaning not even close to half showed up to the protest. Not even 10%. 

Just like the opposition parties these "students" support - billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's Pheu Thai Party (PTP) and billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's Future Forward/Move Forward Party - this represents a loud minority - not a majority.

PTP and FFP/MFP lost both the popular vote in 2019 and failed to create a majority coalition in parliament. 

In a democracy - the majority rules.

It is clear these protests are not "pro-democracy" but rather seek to override democracy and impose an unpopular, extremist agenda upon the rest of the country. And not at the ballot box but in the streets with the threat of instability and even violence hanging over the head of the rest of the nation.

Second: Anon Nampa is not a student. He is not a "youth." He is not even a product of popular sentiment within Thai society.

Anon Nampa is instead the product of US government political interference with his organization - Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) funded by the US government via the notorious regime change front, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The US seeks to install opposition parties into power in the hopes of rolling back Thai-Chinese relations. Ironically, "student protesters" complain about the Thai economy while attacking an important source of Thai economic prosperity and its most important economic partner - China.

Third: Pavin Chachavalpongpun is a known figure within Thaksin Shinawatra's political and public relations machine.

After months - if not years - of  these "students" denying any ties to Thaksin Shinawatra - by Pavin "Skyping in" to support a US-funded agitator - just as Thaksin Shinawatra himself did at "red shirt" rallies in 2009-2010 - the final cloak of deceit has been lifted from these "student protests" for Thailand to see clearly who is behind these protests and what their agenda truly is.

Image: Pavin "Skypes in" at a Thammasat rally led by US-funded agitator Anon Nampa, just as Thaksin Shinawatra regularly did during "red shirt" rallies in 2009-2010. Pavin is an open supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra and ceaselessly serves his agenda of returning him to power. 

After complaining about the current government - depicting it as a brutal dictatorship despite failing to cite any actual examples - these "student protesters" are clearly working on behalf of Thaksin Shinawatra - a deeply corrupt convicted criminal, fugitive, and with the worst human rights record in Thai history.

Just to highlight the hypocrisy at play here - "student protesters" have accused the current government - without evidence - of being behind the disappearance of one activist. Thaksin Shinawatra mass murdered nearly 3,000 people in just 90 days during his so-called "drug war" in 2003 alone. 

Time for the Protesters to Stop Hiding Behind Democracy
The "student protests" can take to the streets but they can not claim they represent the Thai people or even any sort of majority - or even sizable minority.

They cannot claim they are leaderless with figures like Anon Nampa appearing on stage at every major rally. They cannot claim they are not connected to Thaksin Shinawatra and his political machine with the summation of support in Thailand coming from Thaksin Shinawatra and his political machine.

Democracy requires honesty and an informed electorate. The protesters by lying about who they are, who they support, and who supports them - undermine democracy.

By insisting their loud minority be given control over the future of Thailand over the majority, they undermine and betray democracy.

By serving foreign interests they undermine the process of self-determination which is at the very heart of democracy.

By serving a murderous fugitive hiding abroad, they undermine the rule of law - without which democracy cannot function or exist.

Whatever these protesters are for - they are not for "democracy." It is time for them to stop abusing and hiding behind democracy.

Of course, they wouldn't dare admit who they really are, who they really serve, and what they really want for Thailand - or else the little support they have now would shrink even further.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

"Anti-Monarchy" Agenda Stems from US-backed Billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra, Merely Repeated by "Students"

August 12, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - The Bangkok Post in a recent "op-ed" by its editorial board would claim (emphasis added):
The pro-democracy groups' anger exploded into a major rally on Sunday, at a city skywalk and on Monday, at Thammasat University's Rangsit campus where the students came out with a 10-point list of demands for the reform of the monarchy. Such open demands are unprecedented and have stunned even some of the protesters while it seems highly likely that the ultra-royalists will respond harshly.
This is completely false. Such demands are not unprecedented.

These demands were regularly featured at the height of billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's street mobs in 2010 and throughout his vast propaganda network - and most prominently featured in a magazine literally titled "Voice of Thaksin."

The demands had - and have - nothing to do with fighting social inequality or injustice - but instead sought  - and seek - to weaken Thailand's independent institutions which then and now serve as obstructions to criminals like Thaksin Shinawatra and his supporters desire to return to power.

Thaksin Shinawatra - now hiding abroad but still openly running multiple political and street fronts including current protests in Thailand and the largest opposition parties - had been a stalwart ally of Western interests while in power from 2001-2006. He also holds the odious title as worst human rights offender in Thai history having killed nearly 3,000 people over the course of 90 days in 2003 alone amid a so-called "war on drugs."

Despite this, his efforts to reclaim power for himself and his Western sponsors has been portrayed recently by the Western media and their partners including at publications like the Bangkok Post as "pro-democracy"rallies led by "student protests" when in fact the protests are led by Thaksin's supporters and a small army of US government-funded fronts dishonestly posing as "nongovernmental organizations" (NGOs).

READ MORE: "Student Union of Thailand" Helps Lead Thai Protests - Who are They?

Voice of Thaksin

Voice of Thaksin was a magazine published during the height of Thaksin's street protests in 2009-2010.

The magazine regularly made death threats against judges, politicians, and the Thai monarchy itself in a bid to erase Thaksin's opponents from Thailand's political landscape - paving his way back into power. Each issue contained a signed and dated letter from Thaksin as well as photographs of Thaksin holding back issues as a whole-hearted full-throated endorsement of the magazine's contents.

The editor - Somyot Prueksakasemsu - is a crude propagandist who was eventually jailed for his toxic behavior. The Western media has - unsurprisingly - never mentioned Voice of Thaksin or Somyot's role in publishing it - and instead portrays Somyot as a "political prisoner" and as an "academic" and "activist" who was "wrongfully" jailed.

Some examples of Voice of Thaksin's content included calls for Thaksin supporters to burn Bangkok down - call that was heeded in 2010 with widespread arson killing several and causing billions in damage. It also doxxed judges handling Thaksin Shinawatra's various legal cases in a bid to threaten and pressure the judges to decide in Thaksin's favor. Their addresses, phone numbers, and information about their family members was published.

Violence including the use of war weapons was also promoted - violence that eventually and demonstrably took place from April 10, 2010 until the end of May that same year leaving nearly 100 dead including soldiers, police, protesters, counter-protesters, journalists, and by-standers.

Images of Thaksin's allies shooting at his enemies with M-79 40mm grenade launchers depicted in Voice of Thaksin would translate into the literal use of M-79s and other war weapons in the streets of Bangkok before, during, and after major violence in 2010.

Issues regularly included stories about past monarchies around the world being violently overthrown in a clear effort to promote similar violence inside Thailand itself.

Again - none of this stems from any genuine fight for social equality or justice - but rather the removal of Thailand's powerful, independent institutions that have so far served as an obstruction for criminals like Thakin Shinawatra, his political machine, and his Western sponsors.

Thus - there is nothing "unprecedented" about current "student" demands aimed at Thailand's monarchy - they are the exact same demands made by a murderous billionaire and his army of foreign-funded lobbyists and PR specialists to remove obstructions from their collective return to power.- now simply rebranded as "student" demands.

For his part - Somyot can be seen openly supporting and participating in current protests, his role as a crude propagandist calling for bloodshed completely ignored and omitted by the media along with all other essential facts the public requires to truly understand ongoing unrest and who is really behind it.

READ MORE: Why is the US Funding Protesters to Attack Thailand's Military and Monarchy?

In fact - the media's ability to erase such a major campaign of terrorism, mass murder, and the agenda that drove it to the extent that they can promote current unrest as something entirely "new" and "unprecedented" illustrates just how deeply committed the Western media is to undermining Thailand's political, social, and economic stability - just as it has in nations like Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and more recently in China's Hong Kong.