Rally outside embassy tells US to 'stop interfering'

Rally outside embassy tells US to 'stop interfering'

A group gathers outside the US embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday, later submitting a letter to US Chargé d'Affaires Michael Heath asking the US to stop interfering in Thailand's internal affairs. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
A group gathers outside the US embassy in Bangkok on Tuesday, later submitting a letter to US Chargé d'Affaires Michael Heath asking the US to stop interfering in Thailand's internal affairs. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

A group of people calling itself Prachachon Khon Thai (Thai people) on Tuesday headed to the US embassy in Bangkok to ask the US to stop interfering in Thailand's internal affairs and stop fuelling conflicts among groups of Thais with different political opinions.

Led by Nitithorn Lamlua, a lawyer known for his role as a co-leader of the now-defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the group rallied outside the US embassy on Tuesday morning before submitting a letter to US Chargé d'Affaires Michael Heath. The letter was received by a political coordination officer, said a source.

According to Phichit Chaimongkon, a co-leader of the group, the US has over the past two decades been interfering in the affairs of several countries, a policy that has led to conflicts in these nations.

As part of the US need to promote democracy, such interference came in various forms, particularly the influencing of public opinion and economic pressure, which in reality showed the US lacked diplomatic etiquette, he said.

The US has managed to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries through development organisations to which it provides funds, secret organisations and military forces, he added.

These are the worst form of human rights violations and as serious as a war crime, he said. In Thailand, the US, as seen in the news, has been involved in the activities of several political groups that aim to undermine national security and topple the monarchy, according to Mr Phichit.

He also said his group was delving into accusations that David Streckfuss, a US national claiming to be a human rights activist and political history scholar in the Northeast, and a person identified only by the first initial H, are linked with certain political movements that aim to undermine national security and topple the monarchy.

He urged the need to better maintain creative diplomatic cooperation and prove the claim that Thailand and the US are great friends.

Mr Nitithorn said Tuesday's action by his group was a second call for the US to stop interfering in Thailand's internal affairs.

On Monday, US embassy spokeswoman Nicole Fox denied the authenticity of a Line chat over the weekend between a protest leader and a former US embassy official.

She referred to a screengrab of a Line chat discussing political protests in Thailand -- which was said to be between activist Chonticha Jangrew, and a former diplomat identified as "H", believed to be the embassy's former political counsellor Henry Rector.

On the US's position on Thai politics, Ms Fox reiterated the US government is not funding or providing support to any protest groups in Thailand.



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