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Chitpas explains

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An English-language (British English) video interview with well-known anti-government leader Chitpas Kridakorn, formerly Chitpas Bhirombhakdi. (Includes text)

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Despite being forced to change her surname from Bhirombhakdhi to her mother's maiden name, Kridakorn, Ms Chitpas continues to demonstrate against the Thaksin regime. SEKSAN ROJJANAMETAKUL

A few days ago, the Bangkok Post’s Chumporn Sangvilert and Nattawat Watanasuwan got a few minutes with one of the best known People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) personalities, Chitpas Kridakorn, for a video interview in English.

Ms Chitpas, a member of one of Thailand’s richest families, the Bhirombhakdi family, recently changed her surname. She explains why in the interview and also tells us why she is involved in the protest movement.

Ms Chitpas was educated abroad and speaks English – British English – like a native speaker, but the interview was conducted near one of the PDRC’s rally sites, so there is background noise. Thus, I’m sure you will find the transcript helpful.

Right. Well, my name is Chitpas Kridakorn now. I’ve been involved with the PDRC for the last four months.

How did the protest begin?


When we first started four months ago, it was because the government was trying to push through and amnesty bill to whitewash all the corruption and the – and what happened back in – three years ago, so I think that’s how it all kind of started.

PDRC’s goals and strategies…


Well, the government needs to step down first of all. That’s what we’re asking for so we can have a neutral government to (unclear)…  so that we can form a People’s Assembly and reform this country. Well, I think, as of now, we are trying to put pressure on Yingluck and her government to resign.

Is the protest democratic?


We’re not enemies of democracy. We’re definitely not. We believe in true democracy but today that very such thing as a true democracy we don’t – the corruption, the vote-buying and every part of the corrupted election. That’s why corrupted politicians have entered into politics and really ruined this country, so that’s why we need a proper reform before we can have the next general election. That’s what we’re asking for.

What is your role in the protest?


Well, I think we’ve all got different roles to play, I guess. For me it’s been kind of visiting ministries, visiting civil servants, encouraging them to do the right thing and come out and stand by the people instead of serving this corrupted government.

Why did you change your last name?


I guess my family is….we believe in democracy, so everybody has their own choices to make and I thank, I’m thankful for my family to give me such freedom to be able to follow what I believe in and fight for the right cause. So, for me to change my surname, so that people who are actually in my family that are not involved will have no part in this movement. They don’t get blamed for it too. And I know it can be very aggressive, very tough….I mean, I can handle it. I just don’t want that pressure to be put on my family and I think by changing my last name, that might help a bit.

Did you really say to AFP, “..many Thai lack true knowledge of Democracy, especially rural people”?


Well, with that sentence, it was actually quite a long sentence and obviously with politics being this kind of brutal, every little detail is picked up and …falsely and misinforming the public about things to create further divisions between classes or between people who live in the city and people who live in the provinces…the opposition who wants to give you bad credit, obviously to try to find every single way to discredit you, but, in a way now, people know and see for themselves and Thailand has suffered so much and we’ve come so far to even think about turning back and I know that, for a fact, that….we’re winning.

Vocabulary:

aggressive : determined to win or succeed - ก้าวร้าว

amnesty (noun): a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม

assembly : a group of people who have been elected or chosen in order to discuss issues and make decisions - สภา, สมัชชา

bill : a proposal for a law - ร่างกฎหมาย

blame : to say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening - ตำหนิ

brutal : extreme and unpleasant - โหดร้าย

civil servants : people who work in the government departments responsible for putting central government plans into action - ข้าราชการ

conduct : to carry out — - ดำเนิน

definitely : certain; having no doubts about something - อย่างแน่นอน

detail (noun): the small facts or features of something - รายละเอียด, ส่วนเล็กๆ น้อยๆ, ส่วนย่อย

discredit : to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person - ทำให้สูญเสียความเชื่อถือ,ทำให้เสื่อมเสียชื่อเสียง

division : a disagreement between people, especially between people who belong to the same group - การแตกร้าว, การแบ่งแยก

encourage : to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน

handle : to be able deal with a situation - ควบคุมได้, เอาอยู่, จัดการได้

involved (verb): taking part or having a role in something - เกี่ยวข้อง, มีบทบาท

ministry : a government department that has a particular area of responsibility - กระทรวง

misinform (verb): to give the wrong information about something ให้ข้อมูลผิดๆ - ให้ข้อมูลผิดๆ

movement (noun): a group of people who share the same aim and work together to achieve it - การเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อวัตถุประสงค์ทางการเมือง

native speaker : someone who has spoken a particular language since they were a baby, rather than having learnt it as a child or adult - เจ้าของภาษา

neutral : not supporting either side in a disagreement, competition or war - เป็นกลาง, ไม่ฝักใฝ่ฝ่ายใดฝ่ายหนึ่ง

obviously : clearly - เห็นได้ชัด, อย่างชัดแจ้ง

opposition (noun): a team, group, etc. you are competing against - คู่ต่อสู้

PDRC (noun): People's Democratic Reform Committee, an anti-government protest group, headed by Suthep Thuagsuban - กปปส. คณะกรรมการประชาชนเพื่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงประเทศไทยให้เป็นประชาธิปไตยที่สมบูรณ์ อันมีพระมหากษัตริย์ทรงเป็นประมุข.

personality : a famous person - คนที่มีชื่อเสียง

pressure (noun): trying to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - ความกดดัน, แรงกระตุ้น, การบีบบังคับ

proper : right, appropriate or correct; according to the rules - เหมาะสม

protest : a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง

rally site : a place where a large public gathering happens - สถานที่ชุมนุม

reform : to make a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair - แก้ไข ปฏิรูป

resign : to leave a job permanently - ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

role : the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

ruin : to damage something so badly that it loses all its value, pleasure, etc; to spoil something - ทำลาย

rural : connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities  - ในชนบท, บ้านนอก

step down : resign or leave from a high position or job - ลาออก, ลาออกจากตำแหน่ง

suffer : to experience something very unpleasant or painful - ประสบ

surname : a name shared by all the members of a family (written last in English names) - นามสกุล

tough : difficult to do or to deal with - ยาก ยากลำบาก

transcript : a written or printed copy of words that have been spoken - บันทึก

whitewash : to try to stop people from discovering the true facts about something, in order to prevent someone in authority from being criticised - ปกปิดสิ่งไม่ดี

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