Thanathorn vows to fight for the basic rights of Thailand’s ethnic minorities
The opposition Future Forward party will, next year, press for state recognition of the basic rights of Thailand’s ethnic minorities, which include rights of access to state welfare and ancestral land rights, says Future Forward party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.
The embattled party leader, party spokeswoman Pannika “Chor” Wanich and deputy leader Ms. Kulthida Roongruangkit were in Tak, Phetchabun and Chiang Mai provinces respectively yesterday (Friday) to attend hill tribe New Year celebrations and to woo their support for the party.
In his address to the Hmong hill tribe people, in Phob Phra district of Tak province on Friday, Thanathorn said that ethnic minorities have been treated as second-class citizens and have been taken advantage of by the state and state officials.
He said that he cannot elaborate on the problems of the country’s ethnic minorities as effectively as they can themselves, over issues such as the land dispute with the state and their right of access to state welfare, because he does not feel their actual pain and suffering at the hands of state officials.
Thanathorn said his party has two party-list MPs representing ethnic minorities, namely Nuttapol Suebsakwong and Manop Khiriphuwadol.
The party’s arch rival, Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom of the pro-government Ruam Palang Prachachart party, views the Future Forward party’s tactic as part of its attempts to incite dislike of the Thai nation.
In his Facebook post today, Dr. Warong called on the Future Forward party to stop their hate campaign against the Thai nation, citing the Future Forward leadership meetings with the hill tribe groups.
The former Democrat MP then urged people in Bangkok to attend his yearend gathering on Sunday, which is aimed at spreading his words about the Future Forward party’s alleged hate based doctrine.
In his Facebook post today, Thanathorn urged his supporters not to lose faith in the party, to carry on their fight against all injustices and restore true democracy to Thailand.