Activist rejects US invite to Independence Day function

Student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal holds a sign denouncing mandatory conscription as "obsolete and unnecessary" at a conscription unit in Samut Prakan province where he went to seek student deferment of his military service in April. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

Activist student Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal has turned down an invitation from the American embassy in Bangkok to attend a reception celebrating US Independence Day in a protest against President Donald Trump's invitation for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to visit him in Washington.

Mr Netiwit, a political science student at Chulalongkorn University and president of the university's student council, announced his decision on his Facebook account on Tuesday.

He said he had rejected the invitation he received from the embassy two weeks ago to attend this year's party at the InterContinental Hotel on June 29.

He said the invitation may have stemmed from the value the US placed on democracy in Thailand and the Thai people who fought for it.

However, he saw a conflict in Washington's role, because President Trump had invited Gen Prayut, the head of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order, to visit the White House.

Mr Netiwit said he questioned whether the US was really concerned about democracy and human rights. Therefore, he had turned down the invitation to the party on Thursday.

Back to top