Thai pro-democracy protests inspire Laotian social media calls for better governance

Thailand’s pro-democracy, anti-military protest has prompted solidarity and reevaluation across the region with Laotian net users becoming the latest group to use Thailand’s movement as inspiration to call for local change.

The hashtag #ຖ້າການເມືອງລາວດີ (‘If Politics Were Good’ in the Laotian language) was trending on Twitter in Thailand and Laos with over 400,000 posts on social media.

Student and anti-government protests have gripped the country for the past three months with demonstrators calling for a new constitution and the military-backed government to step down.

The student movement has been found solidarity in other netizens across the region under the Milk Tea Alliance umbrella. These netizens have encouraged and held small rallies to support Thailand’s pro-democracy demonstrators.

The Milk Tea Alliance was originally an online movement to counter China’s growing encroachment in the region with netizens using the hashtag in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Now it seems the alliance may have found more ready allies in Laos, a country governed by an authoritarian communist government. Laotians have, for years, seen China’s growing influence both politically and economically within their country.

Laotians took to the hashtag #ຖ້າການເມືອງລາວດີ on Tuesday and called for accountability from their own government and a greater say in politics at home.

Thais, who have historical and cultural ties to the Laotian people, readily adopted the hashtag and many students commented on the social media trend by saying they would ‘stand with Laos.’

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