Do Thais Care About International Criticism?
Thailand hasn’t been on top form when it comes to our public image on the topic of human rights.
Many members of the international community has called Thailand out for violating human rights during the deportation of Uighurs , the Rohingya crisis, and the detaining of the 14 New Democracy Movement students. For the most part, Prime Minister Prayuth has indicated that the government followed the necessary protocols, but the United States, European Union, and other international organizations seem to think that what the government has done is not right.
So, what do 1,250 people from across the country think when they were surveyed by Nida Poll?
In short, we are not worried. Haters gonna hate, right?
To be more specific, when asked if they were worried about the attitudes of the United States, EU, and international organizations towards Thailand…
36.32% were not worried at all
21.36% were not too worried
28.08% were rather worried
13.84% were very worried
The other part of the survey indicates that as much as 37.92% of people (the largest group) think these are efforts by the United States to interfere with internal Thai affairs. Have a look at the graphic below to see what the other sentiment were.
What can we take from these results?
Nationalism, nationalism, and nationalism. We love it. If you remember back to the Thaksin PM days, you will recall Thaksin stating to reporters that “the UN is not my father,” when questioned about his human rights violations during his infamous war on drugs.
Thailand, as a whole, largely gets extremely defensive when it comes to foreigners start to talk sh*t. I’m sure if the topic United States foreign policy was brought up at your dinner table, there’s always going to be someone there so say things like “Ai gun, don’t be nosey in our issues — why solve your own problems first?!”
This attitude and nationalism is a problem. We have to know that a kind of “I don’t care what you think about me” and “p*ss off” outlook does not help our country. Our leaders and people get overly defensive and even at times hostile when criticized by the international community.
I might sound like a psychologist, but this advice can be applied to both our country leaders and the average person: when criticized, we just need to calm down, listen to what others are saying, and revaluate ourselves.
With all this said, we should also acknowledge the progress that the government has made with the EU in dealing with issues about human trafficking and Thailand’s fishery slavery labor.