A battle of the bands in Thailand, with political overtones

Dec 06, 2018

A smackdown for the generals

CHANGE IS COMING. Ahead of a long-awaited election, scheduled for February 24th after years of delays, the military government is expected to relax a few of its repressive rules, including a ban on political gatherings of more than five people. Its response to a musical protest against military rule, Prathet Ku Mi (“What my country’s got”), suggests it may already be trying to change its tune.

The song, from an alliance of Thai artists called Rap Against Dictatorship, went viral after the release of its gritty black-and-white video in October. To date it has been watched some 44m times. The rappers allude to the impunity of the elite, entrenched corruption and political oppression: “A country where the point of the gun slowly aims at the Adam’s apple / A country where they say you have freedom, but there is no right to choose.” They also single out members of the government...

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