11 July 2024

A group of US senators, including Thai-born Tammy Duckworth, have introduced a resolution to show solidarity and support for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Thailand in the face of the ongoing anti-government protests.

“At a time when democracy is under assault from so many quarters it is critical that the United States Senate stand with the democracy movement in Thailand,” said Bob Menendez, a Democrat senator from New Jersey.

He described the protesters as “Thailand’s reformers” who he said “are not seeking a revolution”.

“They are simply yearning for democratic changes to their country’s political system, for freedom of speech and assembly, and for Thailand to be a part of the community of democratic nations,” he said.

Menendez, who is a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the resolution is “a clear message of solidarity and support for freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in Thailand.”

He also urged all parties not to engage in violence or harassment.

Joining Menendez in introducing the resolution is Duckworth, a Thai-born war veteran and a Democrat senator from Illinois.   Duckworth called on Thai leadership to listen to the people and respect the democratic principles.

“As a Thai-American who fought to protect the right to peacefully protest here at home, I know that both the long-standing, strong relationship between the US and Thailand as well as every individual’s inalienable democratic rights are critically important to uphold and defend,” said Duckworth.

Dick Durbin of Illinois said the world is watching “as the Thai people raise their voices to reassert the same democratic aspirations that we Americans hold so dear.”

“As the people of Thailand debate changes to their constitution, their political future should be defined through peaceful dialogue, not violence, harassment, or persecution.  In particular, the voices of the many brave Thai students and youth deserve attention and respect,” he said.