Young Thais increasingly are using the internet and social media to blast the government as it edges toward snap elections.
Youths accuse the government of ruining the economy and mismanaging the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, young Thai people calling for reform are determined to make up their minds about the powers in their country.
“I will live in this country for a long time, as will all these other people. In a democracy you are free to agree or disagree, and I disagree with the status quo and the establishment,” said one university student who recently was gathering petitions on a Bangkok street.
Citizen online reporters called for the freedom of expression and press when they want to share news about sensitive topics.
“We need full democracy. I want to focus on freedom of expression and freedom of the press since I am a citizen journalist for Ratsadon News.”
An assistant professor at an unnamed university said Thai youth crusade on three main topics: change, hope, and future, the latter being the most important. He said Twitter was the platform of choice for critics of the current regime to voice out their dissent.
“The most important one of all is the future simply because they can’t see their future,” he said.
Comparing Chinese youth with Thais on freedom of expression, he said the Chinese youth might not have such freedom but they are provided with better economic opportunities although they have an authoritarian government as he said.
“The Thai state only controls without giving any benefits to its citizens, whereas the Chinese comply in a way because they’re provided for by their government, albeit an authoritarian one.”