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Village Scouts

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Village Scouts

Village Scouts (Thai: ลูกเสือชาวบ้าน, RTGS: Luksuea Chaoban) is the common name of a right-wing social movement[1] and paramilitary militia of volunteers from the rural parts of Thailand. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Interior and put under the control of the Thai Border Patrol Police.[2]

The Village Scouts were mustered from 1971 on, to fight the [4] From 1971 to 1985, more than ten million adult Thais had gone through the initiation rite.[2]

The Village Scouts were also deployed to counter the protests of the pro-democracy and students movement. They were called via radio to occupy strategic points in all major towns during the protests against US bases in the country and against the return of ousted military dictators Thanom Kittikachorn and Praphas Charusathien. The probably best-known, and most impactful, mission of the Village Scouts was during the anti-leftist rally that led to the Thammasat University massacre on 6 October 1976,[3] in which at least 46 people were killed and the subsequent coup d'état and return to military rule.

By more and more appealing to urban, right-wing conservatives, the organization gradually moved away from its poor, rural base.[2] The movement fizzled out during the 1980s.

21st Century Village Scouts

The Village Scouts re-emerged as an ultranationalist mass organization after the turn of the millennium against the backdrop of the Muslim separatist conflict in the three southernmost provinces.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Bowie, Katherine A. (2005), "The State and the Right Wing: The Village Scout Movement in Thailand", Social Movements: An Anthropological Reader (Blackwell Publishing): 46–65 
  2. ^ a b c Streckfuss, David (2011), Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, treason and lèse-majesté, Routledge, pp. 213–214 
  3. ^ a b Suksamran, Somboon (1982), Buddhism and politics in Thailand, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, pp. 79–80 
  4. ^ Harrison, Rachel V. (2010), "The Man with the Golden Gauntlets: Mit Chaibancha's Insi Thorng and the Hybridization of Red and Yellow Perils in Thai Cold War Action Cinema", Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia (Cornell Southeast Asia): 208 
  5. ^ Horstmann, Alexander (2007), "Violence, Subversion and Creativity in the Thai-Malaysian Borderland", Borderscapes: Hidden Geographies and Politics at Territory's Edge (University of Minnesota Press): 149 
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