March 30, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci – ATN) – Bangkok Post’s Achara Ashayagachat, herself praised by foreign interests for her service to them, has recently penned an article titled, “Chiang Mai activist wins US ‘courage award’.” In it she claims (emphasis added):
A Chiang Mai-based activist was given an International Women of Courage Ward Tuesday for her dedication to democracy and women’s rights despite undergoing “attitude adjustment” at the hands of the military.
Rodjaraeg Wattanapanit, 50, co-owner of a bookstore, Book Re:public, was one of 14 recipients lauded by the US State Department in its awards this year.
The Mae Hong Son native, also a co-founder of Creating Awareness for Enhanced Democracy (Cafe Democracy), an association dedicated to creating political awareness and empowering citizens, is the first Thai woman to receive the honour since the award was established in 2007, the organisers say.
Unfortunately Achara falls short of producing an actually objective, journalistic report – categorically failing to inform readers that Rodjaraeg’s Book Re:public and “Cafe Democracy” are both in fact funded by the US State Department, as well as now a recipient of a contrived “award” from the US State Department – a clear conflict of interests that should be disturbing to anyone interested in transparency, journalism, and “democracy.”
Achara goes on to mention Pinkaew Luangaramsri as co-founder of Book Re:public. Pinkaew herself in the wake of the 2014 coup, would openly admit that her “activism” was being underwritten by the US government through USAID and Open Society. In a leaked e-mail in the immediate aftermath of the coup which ousted mass murderer and convicted criminal Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister from power, Pinkaew would exclaim:
I have written to several donors who fund activities of Book Re:public (USAID and OSF) to see if they can do anything to help out in this situation. Although it might not have much impact since the military seems to don’t care to listen to anyone, we still hope that international pressure would at least help make it difficult for the military junta to continue their aggressive treatment towards people.
In addition to USAID and Open Society, the US State Department’s own National Endowment for Democracy (NED) also clearly lists Cafe Democracy as a recipient of US government funding. The fact that opposition to the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra is protested by a movement entirely dependent on foreign cash, but allegedly predicated on democracy and self-determination, is ironic at best.
Why are US-Funded Agitators Protesting the Coup?