Majority agree with students' 3-finger salutes, white ribbons: Poll

Majority agree with students' 3-finger salutes, white ribbons: Poll

Students give the three-finger salute during a rally at the Education Ministry in Bangkok on Aug 19. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Students give the three-finger salute during a rally at the Education Ministry in Bangkok on Aug 19. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

A majority of people agree with students throughout the country giving three-finger salutes and wearing white ribbons, saying that they have the right to free expression, according to the result of a survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted on Aug 25-27 on 1,317 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

Asked to give their overall opinions about using the salutes and ribbons in a symbolic campaign, with each respondent allowed to give more an answer:

51.25% said the students had the right to free expression;

21.18% said it was inappropriate for them to do this in schools;

16.17% said it was a show of support for democracy and opposition to dictatorship;

15.79% said it was a show of innocence and purity;

13.67% said the students were only following trends in social media;

11.77% said they were expressing their wish for the country's future;

9.26% said political groups/parties were behind them;

6.99% said the students wanted to see the fall of the Prayut Chan-o-cha government;

3.80% said this could cause division in schools;

3.11% believed it had a hidden objective;

1.97% said it was causing family conflicts;

0.91% thought there were foreign agencies behind the campaign.

Asked whether they agreed with what the students were doing, 34.78% said they strongly agreed with it, while 17.23% were in moderate agreement. On the other side, 25.82% were totally opposed to it, while 15.41% were somewhat opposed. The rest, 6.67%, had no comment.

Asked whether they thought the campaign indicated there were now conflicts between people of different age groups in Thailand, 57.94% said "yes" - with 29.31% saying the students of this era had great self-confidence and were not open to different opinions, and 28.63% saying the students, influenced by social media, had become more aggressive. On the other side, 24.75% did not think the campaign would lead to such conflicts and 14.88% thought it was only a show of different opinions. The rest, 2.43%, had no comment.

Asked whether they believed there were now ideological conflicts in Thai politics, 79.50% said "yes", saying that ideological differences were very clear in the current political situation, while 17.54% did not think so. The rest, 2.96%, had no comment.


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