The current United States Ambassador Michael De Sombre has long refuted claims that the United States was supporting political activity in Thailand including protests. The embassy issued a statement on September 20th following ‘disinformation’ spread online linked with four-year-old photographs of former US envoy Glyn T. Davies and key protest leader Parit Chiwarak or the ‘Penguin’ now in prison on sedition charges.
A small royalist protest gathering in Bangkok accused the United States government of waging hybrid warfare against Thailand and being behind efforts to destabilise the country by undermining Thailand’s revered monarchy.
A Thai academic on Tuesday accused the US government of being behind a hybrid war trying to destabilise Thailand. Mr Satra To-on attributed the current unrest and explosion of student protest activity to the US administration. The academic was joined at a pro royalist protest outside the Embassy of the United States of America in central Bangkok by well known Thai singer and entertainer Ms Haruethai ‘Ooh’ Muangboonsri who also made the same claim.
Royalist group claim anti-government protests are being guided from Washington as in Hong Kong
Those taking part in the demonstration said that the anti-government protests in Bangkok were being guided by the same hands, in Washington, as those behind the protest activity seen against authorities, over the past 12 months, in the Chinese territory and former British colony of Hong Kong.
‘Stop hybrid war. Please return peace to the world,’ Ms Haruethai declared. ‘Your job in Hong Kong was good, but it doesn’t work for Thailand.’
‘Respect the internal affairs of Thailand’
The academic and singer were joined by a few dozen protesters outside the embassy where they held up handcrafted placards. The group did not submit a letter.
‘We are here to tell the US via the US embassy to respect the internal affairs of Thailand. Thailand is a friendly nation and both have had good ties for a long time,’ the singer said.
Attacks on the monarchy could destabilise Thailand
Ms Haruethai stated that attacks on Thailand’s revered monarchy would lead directly to the destabilisation of the kingdom as the institution was its unifying force and protection against domination by a foreign power.
She claimed that false rumours were being spread in an orchestrated campaign suggesting that the monarchy was behind the 2014 coup against the elected Pheu Thai government in 2014.
Coup in 2014 necessary to prevent bloodshed
She explained to reporters that the coup was a necessary measure that the current Prime Minister General Prayut Chan ocha undertook to prevent bloodshed after tensions erupted following a momentous protest movement that year to rid Thailand of corruption in particular corruption linked to powerful politicians.
US Ambassador De Sombre and Embassy have denied any support for protest activity in Thailand
The current United States ambassador to Thailand, Michael De Sombre, has long denied any support for or links between the US administration and the protest movement.
The ambassador, who only arrived in Thailand at the beginning of this year, has since championed closer ties between Thailand’s current government and the United States, especially on economic matters and trade as tensions between the USA and China are growing.
In May, the US ambassador told the Thai government that the United States was a better friend to Thailand than China.
In September, the US embassy was forced to issue a statement, making its position on the issue clear, after sweeping rumours online linked to photographs taken four years ago in 2016 of the student protest leader Parit Chiwarak or ‘Penguin’, currently in prison and facing sedition charges for his part in the protests since July, and the then US ambassador Glyn T. Davies who during his term in Thailand became a bête noire for pro royalist groups when he urged a quicker transition to democracy in Thailand by the junta government.
Statement issued by the US Embassy in September in response to ‘disinformation’ campaign online
On September 20th, the US Embassy, in its statement said the following: ‘Ambassadors and Embassy personnel regularly meet with a broad cross-section of Thai nationals, not just with students and youth, but also with government, military, business and other leaders. Such meetings do not imply endorsement of any views. The United States government is not funding or otherwise providing support to any of the protests in Thailand.
The United States does not support any individual or political party; we support the democratic process and the rule of law.
As friends of Thailand, we encourage all sides to continue to act with respect and restraint and engage in constructive dialogue on how to move the country forward.’