September 1, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – ATN) – At the end of August US-backed union-busting billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was spotted at protests he and the Western media have repeatedly attempted to claim he had nothing to do with – protests they have claimed instead to be “student-led,” “self-organized,” and “organic.”
At one particular protest billionaire Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit was spotted among members of the US government-funded “Assembly of the Poor,” in another picture he is seen signing a petition created by US government-funded front iLaw.
It is perhaps the most overt confirmation and at the same time – illustration of just how artificial these protests are and who exactly is truly behind them.
It should also be noted that in all of the photographs – finding anyone of “student” age is difficult.
In one photograph a supporter of billionaire fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra’s ultra-violent street mob – the “red shirts” – is clearly pictured proudly wearing a red headband with the words “Truth Today” on it – the name of a media show funded by Thaksin Shinawatra and hosted by leaders of the “red shirts” who called for armed violence and widespread arson leading to nearly 100 deaths in 2010.
The US-backed Billionaire-led Opposition
Thanathorn – the heir of his parents billion dollar autoparts manufacturing fortune and before entering politics helped bust unions at his family’s factory – has been an unapologetic servant of Western interests. While other politicians were preparing ahead of the 2019 elections in Thailand, Thanathorn would literally fly overseas to the US and Canada to lobby for support there.
While on his tour, during an NBC interview, Thanathorn was asked by a fully empathic Andrea Mitchell:
What do you hope to accomplish? You’re travelling. You’re going to different countries. What would you like us to do in the United States? What would you like people around the world to do for Thailand?
Thanathorn’s would answer – confirming his role as a proxy of US interests – that (emphasis added):
Well, I would like to tell our American friends that to take note that Thailand is now not a democratic country. What you see now is an authoritarian regime with an election. I think, I would like to ask our American friends to stand with us to help us build a democratic Thailand. To build a better society together. So that Thailand can be a powerful force helping solve the global problems. For example, problems in Burma, problems in Indonesia. You know, these problems need attention and Thailand can be such a powerful force in the region to help solving global problems.
I believe that the US is a great nation. A nation built up on democratic values. Built up on the rule of law and that is what we aspire to be. So I believe that the US government will be behind our cause.
As a reflection of his pro-Western stance, all throughout his 2019 campaign he maintained an anti-Chinese foreign policy platform – despite China behing Thailand’s largest importer/exporter, investor, source of tourism, and an increasingly important military partner.
Articles like Bloomberg’s “Thailand needs hyperloop, not China-built high-speed rail: Thanathorn,” illustrates clearly the agenda US-backed political parties and leaders like Thanathorn represent – particularly in rolling back Thai-Chinese relations. The article would note:
A tycoon turned politician who opposes Thailand’s military government has criticised its US$5.6 billion high-speed rail project with China because hyperloop technology offers a more modern alternative.
It should be noted that not only does the “hyperloop” exist only as crude prototypes versus China’s high-speed rail technology already moving billions of people a year – the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail line is already under construction with a new grand station nearing completion built specifically to serve as, among other things, a terminal for Chinese-built high-speed trains. .
|Image: Thailand’s massive Bang Sue Grand Station nears completion and will serve as a terminal for Chinese-built high-speed trains.|
Thus – Thanathorn’s proposed “alternative” would mean cancelling actual ongoing construction and waiting years if not indefinitely for theoretical “hyperloop” technology to be developed let alone deployed. In other words – Thanathorn would cancel an important infrastructure project that would greatly expand the movement of goods and people across Asia, just to spite China on Washington’s behalf and leave Thailand with absolutely nothing except PowerPoint presentations as an alternative.
|Image: Thanathorn ran in 2019 on a platform that included cancelling Thai-Chinese rail projects in favor of the nonexistent “hyperloop.” It was a proposed policy that would have served only Washington’s interests at Thailand and China’s expense.|
He has also openly criticized Thailand’s attempts to modernize its military via arms deals with China, with his party co-founder even defending proposed military budget cuts by claiming,” “in today’s world, no one engages in wars any more.”
Thus it is no surprise that he is directly involved in US-funded protests attempting to destabilize Thailand and transform the country into a pliable client state for Washington. It is also no surprise that he spends his free time visiting one US-funded front after another among protests he himself and his family’s fortune are helping underwrite.
US-Funded iLaw and Assembly of the Poor: Rewriting Constitutions, Padding out Protests
If Russia was funding an NGO in the US petitioning for the US Constitution to be rewritten – and rewritten specifically to make it easier for Russian-backed politicians to get elected into the US government – one could expect an immediate and extreme backlash from the US government and from across the Western media.
Yet in Thailand where US government-funded groups are doing precisely this in regards to the Thai constitution – the media not only conceals US funding, it spins the move as “pro-democratic.”
English language newspaper The Nation in an article titled, “iLaw launches petition for charter rewrite,” would claim:
The Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw), a human rights NGO, has launched a campaign seeking signatures from 50,000 voters to sponsor a motion for a Constitution rewrite.
No where in The Nation’s article is mentioned that iLaw’s primary source of income is the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a notorious US government arm involved in political interference and regime change operations around the globe.
Between 2009 and 2014 iLaw has received funding support from the Open Society Foundation, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and a one-time support grant from Google.
Between 2015 to present iLaw receives funding from funders as listed below1. Open Society Foundation (OSF)2. Heinrich Böll Stiftung (HBF)3. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)4. Fund for Global Human Rights (FGHR)5. American Jewish World Servic (AJWS)6. One-time support donation from Google and other independent donors
A foreign-funded organization – an organization that would not exist without this foreign funding – petitioning for Thailand’s very constitution to be rewritten is not only a clear cut case of conflict of interests and foreign political meddling – it undermines the very foundation and fundamentals of democracy and self-determination.
Democracy and self-determination means that Thailand’s constitution and efforts to either maintain or amend it should be determined solely by the Thai people – not by Washington and fronts it funds like iLaw.
While iLaw appears at every rally with its petition – indicating central organization by protesters with US-funded fronts – other organizations like Assembly of the Poor help pad out the protests.
The “Assembly of the Poor” is directly funded by the US government via the notorious regime change front, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
The NED’s official website notes that an organization in Thailand called the “Thai Poor Act” regularly receives over a million Thai baht a year from the US government – and is specifically found under a section in NED’s Thai programs called, “Supporting Grassroots Engagement in Promoting Democracy.”
This is precisely what the “Assembly of the Poor” claims to do in Thailand.
A search as to what or who the “Thai Poor Act” is leads only to one disused Facebook page and a YouTube channel with only one video on it.
Nothing regarding the “Thai Poor Act” can be found anywhere in the news despite the US government funding it for over a decade.
Yet a clue can be found in the single 2015 video posted on its now disused YouTube channel.
During the introduction to the video it clearly states “Assembly of the Poor Thailand” rather than “Thai Poor Act.”
This would indicate that “Thai Poor Act” is simply the “Assembly of the Poor” and that the latter uses a different name to obfuscate US government funding for what is clearly the promoting of a foreign agenda inside Thailand, not “grassroots engagement in promoting democracy.”
The final and most damning piece of evidence comes in the form of a document titled, “Incorporation Contract of Establishment of a Body of Individuals,” for the US government-funded “Thai Poor Act” in 2011 with Baramee Chaiyarat – now leader of the “Assembly of the Poor” – listed as “manager.”
The document was posted on the now disused “Thai Poor Act” Facebook page and proves that Thai Poor Act/Assembly of the Poor is the same organization, headed by the same Baramee Chaiyarat – funded by the US government via NED undermining its claims that it is “grassroots” and represents Thailand’s “poor” rather than the special interests in Washington paying Baramee’s bills.
The Western media and their partners in Thailand have insisted ongoing protests in Thailand are “organic” and “student-led.” They are not. It is a US-funded billionaire opposition-led campaign merely hiding behind students.
This is not an “accusation.” This is a fact – one documented extensively. This is perhaps why when Thais have begun asking on social media about the funding of groups like iLaw and Assembly of the Poor, the staff of these groups ignore or block them. How much longer can these groups carry on and maintain the illusion of “student-led” protests when virtually every aspect of them is funded by a foreign government and an opposition led by corrupt billionaires?