05.04.2024: In front of the recruitment office

05.04.2024: In front of the recruitment office

Thailand: Declaration Against Military Draft

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal in front of the military office

(05.04.2024) I declare my stance, since after the coup d’état in 2014, that when the time comes for military conscription, I will not participate. This decision is based on the belief that coercing citizens who are not willing to serve in the military violates human rights principles, personal moral beliefs, is outdated, ineffective, and contributes to undermining democracy in Thailand. Ten years have passed, and I reaffirm my original position.

Military conscription does not promote equality among citizens but rather enforces a system of varying degrees of oppression. I understand and empathize with many who wish to avoid conscription by seeking education abroad, becoming monks, or finding other exemptions. However, many cannot avoid it and must serve involuntarily.

All Thai citizens should have the equal freedom to choose whether or not to participate in military conscription. No one should be coerced or forced, as it is not beneficial to individuals or the nation.

I could find ways to avoid it like others have done, and I respect their decisions, but publicly refusing to participate may confront the issue head-on, which might be necessary for the improvement of citizens’ freedoms and to ensure a military that respects human rights in this modern era.

Therefore, I declare my act of civil disobedience by not participating in military conscription. I am aware of the legal consequences and apprehensive, but if the results I face lead to a better quality of life for other Thai citizens, I am willing to proceed towards a fairer process.

I have come to present myself for this selection process to reaffirm my stance over the past decade and to clearly demonstrate that I have not evaded or fled, nor have I ever considered doing so.

Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, Declaration Against Military Draft, April 5, 2024

Keywords:    ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Thailand