Majority agree with students’ 3-finger salutes, white ribbons: Poll

A majority of people agree with students throughout the country giving three-finger salutes and wearing white ribbons, saying that they have the right to free expression, according to the result of a survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

Students give the three-finger salute during a rally at the Education Ministry in Bangkok on Aug 19. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Students give the three-finger salute during a rally at the Education Ministry in Bangkok on Aug 19. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The poll was conducted on Aug 25-27 on 1,317 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

Asked to give their overall opinions about using the salutes and ribbons in a symbolic campaign, with each respondent allowed to give more an answer:

51.25% said the students had the right to free expression;

21.18% said it was inappropriate for them to do this in schools;

16.17% said it was a show of support for democracy and opposition to dictatorship;

15.79% said it was a show of innocence and purity;

13.67% said the students were only following trends in social media;

11.77% said they were expressing their wish for the country’s future;

9.26% said political groups/parties were behind them;

6.99% said the students wanted to see the fall of the Prayut Chan-o-cha government;

3.80% said this could cause division in schools;

3.11% believed it had a hidden objective;

1.97% said it was causing family conflicts;

0.91% thought there were foreign agencies behind the campaign.

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Abdou Batrouni sits on the balcony of his home that was damaged by an explosion at the Beirut port, in the neighbourhood of Karantina, Beirut, Lebanon, August 13, 2020. In one of Beirut\u0027s poorest neighborhoods, people are still reeling from the explosion that flattened homes and killed many neighbors who felt like family. Residents are now struggling to find the money to rebuild, without help from the state in a city that was already deep in economic collapse. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

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Students wearing white ribbons on their hair and wrists make the three-finger salute, inspired by the
FILE PHOTO: Students wearing white ribbons on their hair and wrists make the three-finger salute to show support for the student-led democracy movement outside the Education Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand, August 19, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Asked whether they agreed with what the students were doing, 34.78% said they strongly agreed with it, while 17.23% were in moderate agreement. On the other side, 25.82% were totally opposed to it, while 15.41% were somewhat opposed. The rest, 6.67%, had no comment.

Asked whether they thought the campaign indicated there were now conflicts between people of different age groups in Thailand, 57.94% said “yes” – with 29.31% saying the students of this era had great self-confidence and were not open to different opinions, and 28.63% saying the students, influenced by social media, had become more aggressive. On the other side, 24.75% did not think the campaign would lead to such conflicts and 14.88% thought it was only a show of different opinions. The rest, 2.43%, had no comment.

Asked whether they believed there were now ideological conflicts in Thai politics, 79.50% said “yes”, saying that ideological differences were very clear in the current political situation, while 17.54% did not think so. The rest, 2.96%, had no comment.

Students wearing white ribbons on their hair and wrists make the three-finger salute, inspired by the “Hunger Games” series, to show support for the student-led democracy movement outside the Education Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand, August 19, 2020. Demonstrators are seeking the resignation of the military-backed government, an end to the harassment of its critics and a new constitution and parliamentary elections, in a rejection of polls held last year that saw coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha remain prime minister.

BANGKOK POST

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