Thailand’s junta warns against using ‘Hunger Games’ salute

General Prayut Chan-O-Cha made the comments in response to the use of the salute, inspired by the Hunger Games movies, to express opposition to the country’s junta which took over running the country in May.

Flashing the salute has become the unofficial symbol of resistance against the army’s coup with scores detained for raising three fingers in the air in an act of defiance. The same gesture is used in the fictional movies by rebels fighting against a dictatorial regime.

“I’m not concerned by the three-finger protest,” Prayut told reporters on Friday.

But the prime minister also suggested those detained for using the salute could face further problems.

“I don’t know whether it is illegal or not but it could jeopardise their futures,” he said.

His comments came a day after a female university student was detained by plainclothes officers outside a high-end mall in Bangkok for flashing the salute in front of a large publicity poster for the film.

Two male students who did not use the gesture were also taken away for questioning outside a nearby cinema the same day.

On Wednesday five students were briefly held by the military for flashing the three-finger sign during a speech by Prayut in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen.

All have since been released.

“I don’t want to punish them [the students] so they were merely reprimanded, released and told not to do it again because it’s of no benefit to anyone,” Prayut said.

Some cinemas in Thailand have cancelled screenings of the film, which stars Jennifer Lawrence playing the survivor of a bloody reality TV contest in a dystopian future who goes on to become a rebel leader that topples a totalitarian state.

But Thailand’s premier denied ordering cinemas to stop showing the film. “I am not involved in that,” he said. – AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations