The life of Molam Bank or Patiwat Saraiyaem took a dark turn in 2014 when he was convicted of royal defamation for a role he performed in a theater play. He spent two and a half years in prison. But the time behind bars did not stifle his talent for political molam songs.
Amid calls for snap elections and the drafting of a new constitution, protesters gathered at Khon Kaen University (KKU) on Saturday evening. It was the second time that students and members of the public came out to protest following the dissolution of a major opposition party last month.
In wake of the dissolution of the Future Forward Party, student activism networks are emerging all across the Northeast. They want Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down and the military-drafted constitution to be rewritten.
“The student protests movements are happening on behalf of the people of Isaan, too,” writes Chainarong Setchua, a lecturer at Maha Sarakham University. He analyses the student protests that sprang up throughout Isaan in the wake of the Future Forward Party’s dissolution.
Khon Kaen youth are taking to social media to lambast former Future Forward Party MP Thitinan Saengnak for switching allegiances from the opposition to the government. Party officials remind Thitinan that his votes came from the appeal of party policies.