First and foremost, I hope that someone can help translate this letter to you in Thai.
The reason why I stand in solidarity with the youth protesters out there is that unlike politics, human rights is something that cannot be debated on. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, whether conservative or liberal, you cannot deny the moral and ethical obligations to your fellow citizens, to every human being.
I am merely a high school student, but throughout my journey as a student, I have learned that freedom of speech is fundamental to human rights. But in Thailand, freedom of speech is continuously under attack.
Freedom of speech is under attack by the law (Computer Crime Act, Article 112, and Anti-Fake News Center); by intimidation (the authorities “visiting” homes and schools to give “warnings”); and by making activists “disappeared.”
In the 21st century, why must I be afraid of speaking my mind freely? For far too long, we have normalized the violation of freedom of speech.
A couple of weeks ago, a man was forced into a psychiatric hospital for wearing a shirt that says, “I have lost faith in the monarchy.” How is it a crime to lose faith in something, anything?
I stand in solidarity with the youth protesters because I believe that this is a matter of human rights and everyone’s right to freedom of speech.
I am only 16 years old, and I have a long road ahead of me. I do not want to live in a country where I cannot speak my mind or voice my opinions. We are not tamed animals trained to act and think a certain way. You cannot merely whip us and expect us to cower in fear. The days of the feudal system is over. I am human, and I refuse to have my rights taken away from me.
The three demands that we youths ask for are:
- Rewrite the undemocratic constitution that gives the power to 250 junta-appointed senators to vote for the prime minister.
- Dissolve the parliament so that we may have an election under a democratic constitution. ‘
- For the authorities to stop harassing the people who are standing up for democracy.
At my age and in this modern world, young people should not have to protest for fundamental human rights, and I should not have to write this letter. But here we are, living under feudal governance in the 21st century.
You say that Thailand is a democratic country. But democracy is not “under” anything, not under one person or a group of elites. Democracy is the power of all citizens.
I do not hate my country. I simply want to live in a democratic country. No matter what your political views are, whether conservative or liberal, you cannot deny the fundamental human rights of liberty and equality.
Dear prime minister, I am here to claim my rights, and I want you to open your eyes and listen. Do you hear the people sing?
I want you to know that we have had enough and there is nothing you can do to stop us.