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The Nawaphon organization (Thai: ขบวนการนวพล, alternatively transcribed as Navapol, Nawapol, Nawaphol, translated variously as 'new force', 'ninth force',[1]) or 'nine new forces'[2]:80 was a Thai extreme right-wing,[3] patriotic,[4] Buddhist[3] and anti-communist[5][6] propaganda organization[7] active during the country's short democratic period in the mid-1970s. Nawaphon has been described as a psychological warfare unit. Its mission: to support the Red Gaurs and propagandize the Thai population.[8]

Nawaphon was set up by Wattana Kiewvimol in 1974. Wattana had been the head of the Thai Students Association in the United States, when he studied at Seton Hall University.[4] Nawaphon was supported by the Internal Security Operations Command of the Thai military[8] and the Ministry of Interior.[1] The group was said to have links to wealthy businessmen, politicians, the National Security Council, and Thai military intelligence.[3] Nawaphon rallied merchants, businessmen, and monks who were opposed to social change and democracy, fearing for their wealth.[8] The organization attracted a number of Buddhist monks, the most prominent being Kittiwuttho Bhikkhu, who infamously said that killing communists was not a sin.[8][9]

The movement was opposed to parliamentary democracy and campaigned for the three principles of nation, religion, monarchy.[4] Nawaphon attracted considerable support due to the common feeling that these national principles were threatened by left-wing forces.[4] In 1976, the group was thought to have 30,000–50,000 members.[2]:82 Nawaphon played a key role in the anti-leftist agitation that led to the Thammasat University massacre on 6 October 1976,[4] in which members of the organization were involved.[3]

After the coup re-establishing the military rule following the massacre, Nawaphon's popularity diminished due to suspicions that it had become a means of catering to the ambitions of the military clique.[4]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Baker, Chris; Phongpaichit, Pasuk (2009), A History of Thailand, Cambridge University Press, p. 192
  2. ^ a b Suksamran, Somboon (1982). Buddhism and Politics in Thailand; A Study of Socio-Political Change and Political Activism of the Thai Sangha. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 76–83. ISBN 9971902435. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  3. ^ a b c d Schmid, Alex P.; Jongman, Albert J. (2005), Political Terrorism, Transaction Publishers, p. 671
  4. ^ a b c d e f Leifer, Michael (2001), "Nawaphon Movement (Thailand)" (Hardcover), Dictionary of the Modern Politics of South-East Asia (3rd ed.), Taylor & Francis, p. 199, ISBN 0415238757
  5. ^ Elinor Bartak (1993). The Student Movement in Thailand, 1970-1976. Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University. p. 27.
  6. ^ Alan Klima (2002). The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand. Princeton University Press. p. 26.
  7. ^ Karin Zackari (2016). Bettina Koch (ed.). Violence on the Periphery of the Thai State and Nationhood. State Terror, State Violence: Global Perspectives. Springer VS. p. 86.
  8. ^ a b c d Ungphakorn, Puey (1977). "Violence and the Military Coup in Thailand". Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars. 9 (3): 11. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  9. ^ Politics and Religion Mix for Asia's Activist Monks, USC Annenberg School for Communications, Reuters, 11 September 2007