Stars get struck for speaking out

The truth is no defence for celebrities who speak about politics or social issues in increasingly intolerant Thailand

OUTSPOKEN: John Winyu says he speaks out about the basic things that should be discussed. Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya

The social media world has been swept in patriotic sentiment since singer Suthita "Image" Chanachaisuwan, 19, posted a complaint about Thailand's poor public transport last week. After waiting two hours to catch a bus home in Bangkok, she was driven to tweet her frustration: "What's a lousy country. It's not going to improve in 50 or even 1,000 years from now … Now shoot me."

To her surprise, the post went viral. Netizens were fast to interpret her message as an attack against the country's military government, with "shoot me" referring to the violence leading up to the 2014 coup.

Other Thai celebrities joined in the criticism of Suthita. Some netizens told her to leave the country.

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