Saturday, August 22, 2020

CONFIRMED: Thai "Assembly of the Poor" is US Government-funded Astroturf

August 23, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci  - ATN) - The Western media and their Thai partners have regularly reported on the activities of a so-called "grassroots" organizations called "The Assembly of the Poor" (AOP).

The AOP has recently pledged to lend its supporters to any anti-government protests mounted in upcoming weeks or months - the Bangkok Post would report.

In its article, "Cops on watch for violent dissent," it claimed:

The Assembly of the Poor yesterday pledged to join a mass demonstration in Bangkok once it is called.
Yet it appears there is very little "grassroots" about it - with this "Assembly of the Poor" protesting regularly on behalf of the US-backed billionaire-led opposition and whose leader - Baramee Chairat - not only protested side-by-side with Rangsima Rome who is now an MP of billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit's Future Forward/Move Forward Party - but had Thanathorn himself seeking to put pressure on the government for Baramee's release from detention just this week - the Bangkok Post would report.

In its article, "Thanathorn ducks for cover," it noted:
Mr Thanathorn turned up at Samranrat police station on Wednesday night asking to meet protester Baramee Chairat, 53, secretary-general of the Assembly of the Poor, one of four protesters arrested that day for his role in the July 18 Free Youth rally.
Baramee is also a board member of the US and British government-funded human rights front Amnesty International's Thai office.

In addition to this, it appears that the "Assembly of the Poor" is directly funded by the US government via the notorious regime change front, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The NED's official website notes that an organization in Thailand called the "Thai Poor Act" regularly receives over a million Thai baht a year from the US government - and is specifically found under a section in NED's Thai programs called, "Supporting Grassroots Engagement in Promoting Democracy."

This is precisely what the "Assembly of the Poor" claims to do in Thailand.

A search as to what or who the "Thai Poor Act" is leads only to one disused Facebook page and a YouTube channel with only one video on it.

Nothing regarding the "Thai Poor Act" can be found anywhere in the news despite the US government funding it for over a decade.

Yet a clue can be found in the single 2015 video posted on its now disused YouTube channel.

During the introduction to the video it clearly states "Assembly of the Poor Thailand" rather than "Thai Poor Act."

This would indicate that "Thai Poor Act" is simply the "Assembly of the Poor" and that the latter uses a different name to obfuscate US government funding for what is clearly the promoting of a foreign agenda inside Thailand, not "grassroots engagement in promoting democracy."

The final and most damning piece of evidence comes in the form of a document titled, "Incorporation Contract of Establishment of a Body of Individuals," for the US government-funded "Thai Poor Act" in 2011 with Baramee Chaiyarat - now leader of the "Assembly of the Poor" - listed as "manager."

The document was posted on the now disused "Thai Poor Act" Facebook page and proves that Thai Poor Act/Assembly of the Poor is the same organization, headed by the same Baramee Chaiyarat - funded by the US government via NED undermining its claims that it is "grassroots" and represents Thailand's "poor" rather than the special interests in Washington paying Baramee's bills.

This would not be the first time a US government-funded front lied about and hid its foreign funding while attempting to pose as an independent organization or a "grassroots" platform.

Prachatai - which claims to be an "independent" media platform - has received millions of Thai Baht from the US government since its creation and had hid it until 2011 when exposed by this blog. Since then, Prachatai made a single financial disclosure on its English website only and has not updated it since. It still to this day has not disclosed its foreign funding to its Thai readers.

It is no coincidence that Prachatai regularly and lopsidedly heaps praise onto the "Assembly of the Poor" and reports on its every move within Thailand - with a tag dedicated entirely to the US-funded front. What Prachatai never reports is that the Assembly of the Poor is funded by the US government - just like Prachatai is - and is attempting to hide this fact from the public just as Prachatai did and still does.

And just as Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) hides its US government funding despite its member Anon Nampa literally leading anti-government protests in the streets. It should be noted that TLHR regularly handles legal cases involving Assembly of the Poor leaders.

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

Democracy is a process of self-determination - not a process determined by a foreign capital and fronts it funds within a targeted country an ocean away. Whatever it is these extensively US government-funded "protesters" are fighting for - it certainly isn't democracy.

READ MORE: The Complete Guide: US Government Role in Thailand's "Student Protests"

The Thai people have a right to know who is really behind these so-called protests and that a foreign government with a disturbing track record of destroying nation after nation in regime change operations around the globe is now setting its sights on Thailand.

For fronts like the Assembly of the Poor - that they demand transparency and accountability from the government while exhibiting none themselves - not to mention engaging in what is essentially foreign-funded sedition - speaks volumes of what Thailand's opposition really consists of.