New propaganda song reflects ECT’s regional prejudice

The Election Commission has released a new song campaigning for the August referendum, which has content that has triggered public outrage on social media since it allegedly reflects the commission’s prejudice against the northerners and northeasterners, which are allegedly the main supporters of the red shirt movement.
 
The Election Commision of Thailand (ECT) has released a song called ‘7 August’, Together in Referendum for Democratic Consolidation.’ The song mainly aims to persuade people to go to vote in the charter draft referendum. The song was composed of four different local accents and music styles: the Central, Isaan (Northeastern), Northern, and Southern of Thailand.
 
 
 
Although it does not suggest people to vote in any certain way, people in social media have widely condemned the song for the regional prejudice content against those who live in Isaan and the Northern Thailand.
 
The Isaan accent part of the song sings “Isaan people, don’t let anyone mislead your way. Be conscious and use your judgement. Don’t let anyone trick Isaan people.”
 
Similarly,  the Northern accent part sings “All northerners, don’t let anyone dictate your mind. Be educated and study [the draft’s] content thoroughly.” 
 
In contrary, the Southern accent part sings “Pak Tai (the South), the Southerners love freedom and democracy. Let’s join in the referendum. It’s a duty of all Thai citizen.”
 
Like the Southern one, the central accent part sings “The constitution is a basic rule leading to the social reconciliation….Country will move forward if we all help maintaining it. Favour or disfavour, you are the answer. Use your judgment”
 
On Tuesday, 7 June 2016, Voice TV posted on its Facebook fanpage a question ‘Do you think that the ECT’s referendum campaign song has a prejudice against the the Northern and Issan people?.’ Most of facebookers agreed with the question and believe that such prejudice is due to the fact that Northern and Isaan people are the main supporters of the red shirt.
 
“It’s obviously a prejudice because Northern and Isaan people is the main supporters of the Pheu Thai Party while the Southerners is the main supporters of the Democrat Party,” reads a comment of the post.
 
Some facebookers also thought that the song reflects mentality of the ECT which will make the so-called social reconciliation difficult to happen.
 
“This is clearly a social division -- looking down on some certain regions and praising the others. Is it the reconciliation? No way!,” reads another comment.
 
 
 

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”