Protest leader and human rights lawyer Anon Numpha told Thai Enquirer on Thursday that there is nobody behind the current pro-democracy movement, and it is being funded through donations.
His comments came after a car thought to be carrying Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, co-founder of Progressive Movement and former leader of the now disbanded Future Forward Party, was attacked by a group of royalists in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Wednesday.
The royalist group, as well as many conservatives and royalists throughout the country, have speculated that the former leader of Future Forward and his associates have been the masterminds behind the current pro-democracy protests.
“Thanathorn is not behind, or involved, in this movement at all. He wouldn’t even buy me drinks the last time we met after I was released from prison,” Anon told Thai Enquirer on Thursday
The human rights lawyer also denied that there is any foreign groups behind the student-led movement, which sprung from the government’s own doing.
“The student-led movement grew from state repression, no one is telling them what to do and honestly, no one can,” he added.
He said the current government has to come up with such propaganda because they cannot admit that government’s wrongdoings have caused the uprising. If they do, the will immediately lose their legitimacy.
“The movement was formed based on people with the same ideology and their analysis of what is currently wrong with society today,” he said.
How the movement is conducted, including the methods for the rallies, is being decided together by the student leaders, Anon said.
As for funding – in which Anon admits that such large gatherings require a lot of money – he said that all of them came from public donations. The government can fully check where the money is coming from.
“The accounts are already public information,” he said.
As for claims that foreign organizations are funding NGOs such as the Internet Dialogue on Law Reform (iLaw), which they believe is behind the movement, the protest leader said the argument does not make sense.
“Many NGOs are being funded by private organizations, and iLaw is not involved in the movement,” he said.