In the wake of Thailand’s recent elections, US and European-backed opposition forces were caught flatfooted, reeling from losing the popular vote to the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).
Additionally, “rising political star” as the Western media refers to him, billionaire heir Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit, head of the opposition Future Forward Party (FFP), has found himself in legal turmoil, facing various corruption cases and charges of sedition.
Defending a Billionaire
Thanathorn’s FFP is favoured by the West as an appropriate proxy to roll back Thai-Chinese relations and eliminate Thai institutions impeding Western interests in Thailand.
So favoured by the West is Thanathorn and his Future Forward Party, that when he was summoned by Thai police to hear charges against him, he was accompanied by over a dozen representatives of Western embassies including from the US, UK, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Germany and EU diplomats.
Responding to what was blatant interference in Thailand’s internal political affairs, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) would release a statement noting (our emphasis):
Regardless of the intention, the presence of Embassies’ representatives the police station with such a visibility and the publicity it generated were clearly an act of political significance, seen by the Thai public largely as a show of moral support to Mr. Thanathorn.
In other words, it was a political act, or a political statement on the part of the Embassies.
It clearly amounted to the Embassies choosing to be a player in Thai domestic politics, at least by having taken side in the country’s political landscape.
The Royal Thai Government considers such action to be in breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), Article 41, and the internationally recognised principle of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign nations.
The statement was posted most visibly by “Thailand senior researcher” at Human Rights Watch (HRW) Sunai Phasuk, who would himself add in a social media post:
Baring fangs to please military government, [the Thai MFA] attempted to harass western diplomats only to be told that observation of major lawsuits; court proceedings is standard practice for countries that respect human rights and due process.