Reds surround Singha affiliate

KHON KAEN ― Udon Thani red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana on Monday led supporters to surround an affiliate company of Boon Rawd Brewery in Khon Kaen province, demanding the brewer of Singha beer be responsible and warn "Singha heiress" and core anti-government protest leader and family member Chitpas Bhirombhakdi against allegedly insulting rural people.

Mr Kwanchai, who chairs a red-shirt faction known as Kon Rak Udon, mobilised more than 400 supporters in seven buses from his stronghold to block all entrances-exit gates at Khon Kaen Brewery Co in tambon Taphra of Khon Kaen’s Muang district at 2pm. A company of riot police had been deployed to the company to maintain order.   

Mr Kwanchai accused Ms Chitpas of insulting people in rural areas and insinuating they did not know much about democracy in an interview with AFP news agency last week. 

The former deputy spokeswoman for the Democrat Party was quoted by AFP as saying: "We're not taking away democracy. We just need some time to reform the country before we can move on to democracy". 

The problem, she added, is that many Thais lack a "true understanding of democracy... especially in the rural areas".   

Mr Kwanchai said he viewed Ms Chitpas’s remarks as insulting to grassroots people in the Northeast and condemned her as “an immature person who creates social-class discrimination and demean politics”. 

He also accused Boon Rawd Brewery of providing financial aid to the prolonged anti-government protests led by the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) and threatened to launch a campaign inviting people in the region to boycott the company’s products. 

He demanded Singha family patriarch and managing director of Boon Rawd Brewery Santi Bhirombhakdi,  Ms Chitpas and her father Jutinan show responsibility for the alleged verbal abuse.  

Mr Kwanchai submitted a request letter to Chanon Posayajinda, managing director of Khon Kaen Brewery. 

Mr Chanon told the protesters that Ms Chitpas did not hold any position in the company and her remarks were a personal expression and had nothing to do with the company.

Mr Chanon said the company was aware that customers were the company’s benefactors and promised to send protesers' request to Boon Rawd Brewery headquarters office in Bangkok. The protesters were satisfied with  this and returned home. 

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 24/12/2013 at 07:15 PM
Even the PTP can will a one horse race what does that prove ?
Discussion 2 : 24/12/2013 at 10:24 AM
Democracy is a system where people can agree to disagree, where the vote is not sold or bought It is the only system where people have a say and true power . Also where all are equal.
Discussion 3 : 24/12/2013 at 08:08 AM
Isan people will show their political power through the wallets of the Singha brewery. They have a right to protest those that don't believe they are educated enough to know how to participate in the democratic process. A boycott of those who insult them may change the minds of those insulters. It is not helping their cause to call poor people stupid, corrupt " unrighteous" and not worthy to vote, siding with Suthep will destroy their chances in upcoming election.If the democrats want to join the modern world, they need to get out of the rut they are in, do the hard work and help the whole country not just Bangkok aristocrats.
Discussion 4 : 24/12/2013 at 08:04 AM
subcoman, absolutely exactly what is happening is as you say.
Discussion 5 : 24/12/2013 at 07:15 AM
Please forgive the rich second generation who has fooled around in UK and got a unknown university degree. She had done no harm to the Bangkokian but just given up her pocket money from her richest family. So cute and pretty gal.
Discussion 6 : 24/12/2013 at 06:31 AM
I have lived in Thailand for more than 10 years and spend my money here yet you say we are not welcomed ? I my favorite daydream I get to see the same laws Thailand use against us be used against Thais in other countries ! Thais living in my homecountry is allowed to vote in local elections and laso get the same rights as I do.In my opinion Thailand will not be a democracy until ALL who live here get the same rights !
Discussion 7 : 24/12/2013 at 06:29 AM
You don't need to read them to long to understand where they want to lead us : "eradicate" opponents and dictate the "truth" to US ambassador, foreign medias, national TVs and so on. Then we will have the self appointed "people's council" by a secretary general self declared representative of the "people'" to put in place "real democracy". The list is too long and clearly has a taste of some rhetoric heard in Europe in the 30's or in a country not far from Thailand in the mid 70's.
Discussion 8 : 24/12/2013 at 06:18 AM
It works both ways. Those on the side of anti-Government reform are supporting Singha products (especially bottled water) and have ditched another brand which has links to Thaksin.
Discussion 9 : 24/12/2013 at 05:54 AM
dying regime? prove your point in the next election... I thought so... and the room goes silent...
Discussion 10 : 24/12/2013 at 05:52 AM
again, if you dont understand, ppl have the right to protest the company, bc its the company that gave her the ability to do what she is doing... Kao jai mai? you think her heiress would be in the position she is in if she was not the heir to the $2.6 billion beer company? im sure if she was a poor farmer she would be voting for Yingluck too... 555
Discussion 11 : 24/12/2013 at 04:54 AM
One of the tenets of a democracy is "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This seems to be lost in Thailand, even by M/s Chtipas's family. That being said, I don't think a "lack of true understanding of democracy" is limited to the rural areas.
Discussion 12 : 24/12/2013 at 04:25 AM
Ms Chiptas should replace Abishit as leader of the opposition. The rich and beautiful could go head to head for puppet of Thailand.
Discussion 13 : 24/12/2013 at 03:03 AM
Boycot Singha, and keep drinking Leo, lads … oh, wait….
Discussion 14 : 24/12/2013 at 02:17 AM
did you listen to any of her speeches?
Discussion 15 : 24/12/2013 at 12:57 AM
No!, It's Leo beer, which is made by Singha. But they got the message already and have apologized.
Discussion 16 : 24/12/2013 at 12:28 AM
There are many rich or poor foreign supporters for the rural Thai people. Yes, am one of those who will not try Singha or Leo beer because they are throwing money on their rich people and not on the poor people. Won't it be better to spend your money on the less fortunate fellow Thai than spend money on politics?
Discussion 17 : 24/12/2013 at 12:07 AM
Who cares what place on the list her family holds, at least they didnt change the laws of the country to ensure they wouldnt need to pay tax!
Discussion 18 : 23/12/2013 at 11:39 PM
well I don't think a boycott of Singha beer in Issaan will matter much ..it's hardly the drink of choice among redshirts, is it ?
Discussion 19 : 23/12/2013 at 11:29 PM
Not her grandfather, but her father’s cousin.
Discussion 20 : 23/12/2013 at 11:21 PM
This town has gone far too far and something has to be done about it. What we need is to put the whole Udon region back into trust worthy people administration.
Discussion 21 : 23/12/2013 at 11:12 PM
Really? The strong foreign support from states and induviduals made Nelson Mandela's ANC win over the Apatheid system Suthep seems to like!!!
Discussion 22 : 23/12/2013 at 11:05 PM
How about a system where the number of votes you are allowed to cast, is directly correlated to the amount of taxes you pay. How about 1 vote for every 10,000 Baht in Taxes paid. After all you are electing people to spend the money you pay in taxes, as one of their main duties as an MP. So there can be many types of democracy, it is not a one shoe fits all proposition.
Discussion 23 : 23/12/2013 at 11:04 PM
Unfortunately this is yet another sign that Thailand remains far distant from democracy. One of the main tenets is free speech. Everyone should be entitled to express their own opinion provided it is not slanderous.
Discussion 24 : 23/12/2013 at 10:43 PM
Question is who are they more upset with, the PTP for raising alcoholic beverage taxes, or a brewery family member?
Discussion 25 : 23/12/2013 at 10:29 PM
Did you know... The Bhirombhakdi family is one of the 9 families who are richer than the Shinawatra family. Place 6 - Bhirombhakdi $ 2,400 M Place 10 - Shinawatra $ 1,700 M In the past Mss Chitpas was very eager to enforce LM and the computer crime act. I don`t think both need any enforcement, nor does Thailand need ignorant and insulting public speakers, rather the opposite is needed! Thailand urgently needs more comprehension and good will even for the other side of the political and social fence. Though I don`t agree with all this mob-policy (red, yellow, whistlers, whoever) I appreciate that the reds only said their message and left.
Discussion 26 : 23/12/2013 at 09:56 PM
The Reds' initial response to her words was to firebomb her house last week. They waited until she had returned from the protest before carrying out the attack so they clearly wanted to hurt her... Just because she has a different opinion the Reds resort to violence just like they have done so many times.
Discussion 27 : 23/12/2013 at 09:55 PM
Funny the world as we know it seem to think different - as was quoted by AFP as saying: "We're not taking away democracy. We just need some time to reform the country lack a "true understanding of democracy. PDRC has a new type of democracy? Don't understand how that is going to work! Sounded like South African apartheid, uneducated this que, educated that que.
Discussion 28 : 23/12/2013 at 09:43 PM
Love the guy on the Left.
Discussion 29 : 23/12/2013 at 09:39 PM
10 years time is what you need. Til then sit back and be quiet.
Discussion 30 : 23/12/2013 at 09:38 PM
The loss of the Lao Kao Red Shirts will have little effect on Boon Rawd. Without TS/PT/YS handouts they don't have the cash to buy.
Discussion 31 : 23/12/2013 at 09:20 PM
In spite of the previous comments, I will venture this. The heiress to the Boon Rawd Company, Ms. Chitpas, has chosen to take a political stance, which is of course her right as a citizen. Her grandfather sent a letter to her father, warning him that her strident political speeches, might have very negative repercussions on the family business. This has been widely reported in the media, including the Bangkok Post. Now, surprise surprise, there will be a national boycott of Boon Rawd products by those offended by Ms. Chitpas's position. This is also their right. Boycotts of elections or by consumers are both strong weapons.
Discussion 32 : 23/12/2013 at 09:18 PM
This is no simple situation, and I hope foriegners who post here remember that. We have two opposing sides that will not negotiate. That is dangerous. Both sides have gone too far in this. They need to sit down and negotiate, and neither will do that. There is corruption and lies on both sides. This is not a rigby match, and I simply do not care which 'side' you chose to join simply because foreigners should have no say in Thai evolution. Neither foriegners living here, our governments, nor our proxies should shape this evolution. Get over yourselves. We can argue and whinge, but Thais will do what they want to do.
Discussion 33 : 23/12/2013 at 09:15 PM
Ironically, they just prove the point by their actions.
Discussion 34 : 23/12/2013 at 09:15 PM
the truth hurts ...
Discussion 35 : 23/12/2013 at 09:12 PM
The Red can not take a true statement from Chitpas, but I fully support her a million percents!
Discussion 36 : 23/12/2013 at 09:10 PM
What would we hear when anti-TS/PT 'government' protesters would do the same with businesses belonging to, controled by, the Shinawats, Damapongs, Pombejras &Co.? Anti-democratic, rebels, terrorists, thugs, fascists, communists, aso.? Hmm? Well IMO that's what these sad manipulated redshirts are... Sorry Mr Kwanchai, as long as the UDD leaders and 'stormtroops' (brainwashed, paid, transported, and fed?) so obviously behave like they know so little or nothing about 'Democracy', why can't it be openly said? 'Because we are...'? What are you? 'The majority'? No, outside the north and north-east, today(!), you aren't!
Discussion 37 : 23/12/2013 at 08:54 PM
The mere fact that the reds are now protesting against the brewery confirms their lack of understandning of Democracy .... such as freedom of speech. Always nice when the reds prove that folks who criticise them are correct.
Discussion 38 : 23/12/2013 at 08:50 PM
They also don't understand freedom of speech. They only think what they say is true.
Discussion 39 : 23/12/2013 at 08:41 PM
The next lot of beer purchase could cone with a whistle? Thailand business is politic it seem.
Discussion 40 : 23/12/2013 at 08:39 PM
Is this the democrcy all you red shirt supporters on this forum are shouting about.
Discussion 41 : 23/12/2013 at 08:35 PM
So why couldn't the UDD raise a mob in Khon Kaen? Seems Udon Thani and Chiang Mai are the last two strongholds of this dying regime - so weak are they that they must bus in fanatics to terrorize people in areas once considered "red" territory. They thought this would show "strength," but it instead looks like desperate weakness.
Discussion 42 : 23/12/2013 at 08:27 PM
Just stopping drinking their beer and grow up. People are entitled to opinions, whether they own a brewery or not.
Discussion 43 : 23/12/2013 at 08:25 PM
BTW: I think Chitpas Bhirombhakdi looks better than the KPM.
Discussion 44 : 23/12/2013 at 08:24 PM
Best for the reds: For protesting drink Regency without soda!
Discussion 45 : 23/12/2013 at 08:20 PM
Well the fact remains that Chitpas made a legitimate statement. The fact that the Red Shirts don't like it is their problem. Love the guy on the far left in the photo, he says it all.
Discussion 46 : 23/12/2013 at 08:15 PM
Street politics can be played both ways.That's why I detest and abhors street politics. It's just a matter of time before the anti-Suthep rallies begin; and when it does-May God help us all.
Discussion 47 : 23/12/2013 at 08:12 PM
Her comments may be insulting but I'm afraid that they are basically true. Using intimidation is not the way to prove her wrong, indeed it almost confirms what she said.
Discussion 48 : 23/12/2013 at 08:11 PM
A beer boycott... yeah, that's likely to work. In the meantime, she is right, most Thais have a very poor understanding of democracy. Not only the rural people, but also the elites.

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