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Anti-war rally concludes peacefully in Patong

Anti-war rally concludes peacefully in Patong

PHUKET: Around 30 foreigners, presumably all Ukrainians or Russians, gathered today in front of the Police Box on the beach road in Patong to call for the end of the war and demand withdrawal of Russian forces from the neigbouring country. Phuket Police and volunteers were present at the scene to ensure safety of all parties.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 25 February 2023, 08:41PM

The group numbered about 30 foreigners in total, who were holding printed placards with calls and slogans in English and Russian languages. Some held flags – either Ukrainian national flags or the new Russian white-blue-white flag used by those opposing Moscow’s invasion into Ukraine which started on Feb 24 last year. The full-scale war continues up to this day. 

Calls and slogans on the placards included: “No war”; “Peace for Ukraine”; “We do not need war”; “We are many, we are not alone”; “Russians against the war”; “Putin, go away”; “Russia will be free”; “Freedom to political prisoners”.

The demonstration of placards continued for 15 min only, according to reporters at the scene. Yet the event also included some communication with local police during which the group did not disband and the placards were still visible to passers-by. Apparently, no Thais came out to oppose or support the rally. 

Thailand picks side 

On Thursday this week (Feb 23), the UN General Assembly approved its third resolution calling for an end to the war in Ukraine and demanding Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the country. 

Thailand had abstained during the two previous similar votes in 2022,  but this time joined 140 other countries and supported the demand that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine”.

The General Assembly also emphasized the need to ensure accountability for the most serious crimes committed in Ukraine during the year-long war to ensure justice for all victims and the prevention of future crimes.

Thai foreign affairs scholars said the Kingdom made the right decision in supporting the UN’s resolution, reported Bangkok Post on Feb 25 citing two local experts.

Virot Ali, an international relations academic at Thammasat University, said that Thailand’s vote in support of the UN resolution ahead of the elections was a wise decision. 

"In light of this, an elected government will gain more legitimacy in the eyes of the international community," Mr Virot said. 

"We can no longer resist international pressure over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. We have no other option but to join calls for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine,’’ he added.

The expert also mentioned the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global energy situation which stunts Thailand’s economic growth.

Panitan Wattanayagorn, an ex-international relations scholar at Chulalongkorn University, echoed the view that Thailand’s support of the UN resolution was a wise move. 

Since Thailand is among the 141 countries supporting the UN resolution, Thailand can avoid being singled out for confronting Russia as well as its allies such as China and India, he said. 

China and India were among the 32 abstentions during the Feb 23 vote at the UN General Assembly. Countries which voted against the resolution were limited to Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, and Syria.

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Kurt | 26 February 2023 - 10:41:31

Was a good location for a anti-war rally, at the busiest tourist location of Phuket. Doing in front of a russian consulate can evoke a panicking emotion of Thai police, who actually not know how to react on such demonstrations.

Kurt | 26 February 2023 - 09:59:00

1: Gain more legitimacy from international community.
2: We can not longer resist international pressure.
3: We have no other option.

All thinking is for own gain and profits. Not a single word 'from the heart'/passion about the suffering of Ukrainian people. Just cold blooded gaining thinking.

JohnC | 26 February 2023 - 09:04:42

I would make much more sense to hold their protest outside the Phuket Russian consulate than outside a police box in Patong.


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