23 May 2024

A brand-new activist group, which aims to bring together all sectors of Thai society to help move Thailand forward and through the most critical period it has ever encountered, formally debuted on Wednesday.

Founders of the group, named CARE, include former senior members of the now defunct Thai Rak Thai party, namely Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee and Dr. Prommin Lertsuridet, advisor to Pheu Thai party leader Poomtham Wechayachai, outspoken journalist and TV commentator Ms. Lakkhana “Khaek” Panvichai, well-known architect Duangrith Bunnag and economist Supavuth Saichua.

The group’s manifesto, which was read at the press launch event by Ms. Lakkhana, says that mankind is confronting a unique challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic, which will have long-term and painful impacts on people the world over, including Thailand, which currently appears to be at its lowest and weakest point in almost all aspects.

Thailand appears to have fallen into a trap, with no easy way out, as all problems, be they social, economic, political, quality of life or inequality, are interconnected.  All of them have eroded the hope of the people, according to the manifesto.

The heart of these problems can be summed up in three words “think”, “move” and “Thai”.

The CARE group aims to bring together all sectors of society, to brainstorm ways out of the country’s problems and to join forces to drive the country forward.

Dr. Prommin said that the group started with just 30-40 people, all positive thinkers who strive for creativity, rather than destruction, to find answers to the country’s myriad problems.

”We are not dreaming, but we are making dreams come true,” he said.

Poomtham, meanwhile, said the group believes in the people and in people power, which can effect change.  He claimed that, in the past, the voices of the people have been ignored.