Facebook blocks page on Thailand’s king as protesters demand democracy

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“By accepting the requests, whether you like it or not, you become a part of that, you become a part of the support that you gave to the authoritarian regime in Thailand,” he said.Facebook acknowledged the seriousness of blocking the page, saying that such government requests “have a chilling effect on people’s ability to express themselves.””We work to protect and defend the rights of all internet users and are preparing to legally challenge this request,” the company said in its statement.Pavin said that after the Facebook group was blocked, he immediately created another one that is essentially the same, called “Royalist Marketplace-Talad Luang.” “Talad Luang” is Thai for “Royalist Marketplace.”

The new group has already attracted more than half a million members, with many from the original one migrating over.The monarchy is considered sacrosanct in Thailand and any criticism is normally kept private. Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha attends a family photo session with new cabinet ministers at the Government House in Bangkok, Thailand, August 13, 2020. He criticized Facebook for the move. LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty

The protests are building into the most serious threat yet to Prayuth’s rule. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox

“I’m furious, you know, because this is something that I am passionate about. Facebook said that while people in Thailand can no longer access the page, it is still available in other places, adding that the company plans to “legally challenge” the government’s request.”After careful review, Facebook has determined that we are compelled to restrict access to content which the Thai government has deemed to be illegal,” the company said in a statement.Thai king strips consort of royal titles, citing “disloyalty”  The battle in the virtual space comes after weeks of anti-government protests aimed at the country’s prime minister, an ally of the monarch. I am passionate because I just want to see Thailand becoming more and more democratic,” Pavin, who lives in exile in Japan, said in an online interview.Pavin was not in Thailand when the country’s current prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, orchestrated a military coup in 2014 when he was the army chief. “Every country that has a dictator government uses legal tactics like this to harass the people. The Facebook group, “Royalist Marketplace,” was blocked late Monday after the social media giant bowed to pressure from the Thai government.  “When they announced the emergency decree, they said it was because of COVID-19,” Parit said. Lillian SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty

By imposing strict controls on activity at the height of the outbreak in the spring, including overnight curfews, Thailand has managed to keep the coronavirus under control, with only 3,397 confirmed cases and 58 deaths. Facebook blocks page about Thailand’s king as protesters demand democracy

August 25, 2020 / 11:36 AM
/ AP

Bangkok — Facebook has blocked in Thailand a group with more than a million members that engages in open discussion about the Thai monarchy, an institution that is staunchly protected from criticism by strict laws. His lawyer said he was facing six charges related to an August 10 rally at Thammasat University in Pathum Thani province, just north of Bangkok, where Panupong gave a speech.When Arnon stepped out of the police station, a group of officers read him a warrant and put him into a waiting van. immigration agency cancels furlough of 13,000 employees

U.S. First published on August 25, 2020 / 11:36 AM A law calls for a prison sentence of up to 15 years for anyone found guilty of defaming the monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.Anger mounts 6 years after coupFour prominent Thai anti-government activists answered summonses at a Bangkok police station on Tuesday, the latest in a series of legal moves by the authorities to clamp down on protests that are the most serious challenge yet to Prayuth’s administration.The activists are facing charges over holding a rally at the army headquarters last month, in violation of an emergency decree banning public gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic.”This is a form of harassment by the dictator government,” said civil rights lawyer Arnon Nampha, who has emerged as one of the leaders of the protest movement. After seizing power in the coup, he retained it in a 2019 election widely seen as rigged to all but guarantee his victory.With key Cabinet posts remaining in the hands of former generals, many people have grown wary of what they see as the enduring military influence in the running of the country, and of Prayuth’s style of leadership and his performance.Thailand’s had struggled to compete economically with its neighbors even before the damage inflicted by the strict measures to fight the coronavirus.The student-led protest movement has declared three core demands: holding new elections, amending the constitution and ending the intimidation of government critics. Following the coup, the ruling junta summoned critics of the government and monarchy, including Pavin, who decided to remain abroad.Pavin, who is an associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, said “Royalist Marketplace” achieved 1 million members just a few days ago. A fifth who had been summoned, Panupong Jadnok, was arrested Monday for taking part in another protest. “Now it’s clear it isn’t because of COVID but because of the protests.”

Two other activists also appeared at the station. According to the reading of the warrant, Arnon is facing several charges – including sedition and endangering public health – related to his part in the August 10 rally.More than 30 prominent figures in the protest movement have legal charges against them, in what appears to be an attempt to defeat the demonstrations by decapitating its leadership. Trending News

U.S. JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a 49-year-old academic who created the group in April, bemoaned the decision, and quickly set up a similar Facebook group that already has hundreds of thousands of members. Pro-democracy protesters hold up the three-fingered salute during a rally outside the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority headquarters in Bangkok on August 23, 2020. We are ready to fight in court or on the street until we win victory.”

Labour activist Suwanna Tanlek gives the three-fingered “Hunger Games” salute as she arrives at Nangleong police station in Bangkok on August 25, 2020 to accept charges relating to a protest in front of the Royal Thai Army headquarters last month.