Going after Chevron


From a graphic circulated on social media: Boycotting U.S. products does not have any effect on the U.S. We should cancel their oil concessions!!!

[At the bottom are charts showing Chevron has reported that Thailand is the company’s second largest natural gas drilling site.
Nationalization of state assets was a big issue during Thaksin’s term as PM. He privatized state enterprises and allowed assets to be licensed and sold to foreign companies.
Many had hoped that the junta would halt unpopular oil and natural gas concessions given to foreign firms, but Gen. Pryauth has stressed continuity and allowed bidding to continue. Anger at U.S. comments about Yingluck’s impeachment again raised calls to halt concessions to foreign companies.]

Instead of blaming others, we shall start doing

From December 19, 2014
This billboard in the heart of Bangkok reads: Instead of “blaming” others, “we” shall start “doing.”
Chevron is proud to be a part of restoring the Pasak Watershed through the King’s philosophy and local wisdom.

[Chevron is not unaware of the mounting opposition from energy activists and nationalists to U.S. company oil and gas concessions. It has conducted public relations campaigns to improve its image with the public and emphasize it own “Thainess.”
The above billboard refers to a project launched by Chevron Thailand, together with the Institute of Sufficiency Economy and the Agri-Nature Foundation, with the aim of using the King’s philosophy about the management of soil, water and forests to restore the Pasak Watershed.]

Above: From Komchadluek, August 20, 2012
[The belief that foreign powers are only motivated by greed for resources or military bases is longstanding. This cartoon from 2012 contends that Thaksin was able to obtain a visa to the U.S. by promising oil concessions to the U.S. via his control of the Pheu Thai-led government.]

From Manager, January 25, 2013
Left, Hun Sen: Hmmmmm… [sound of exertion]
Right, Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul: Pood!! [sound of passing gas]
Caption: Hun Sen farts in Cambodia… but the sound is heard in Thailand.

[In this example from 2013, oil concessions are intertwined with the Preah Vihear conflict. The cartoon refers to the time when Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul asked opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva to show evidence proving his claim that former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and the Yingluck government benefited from secret oil and gas deals with Cambodia in exchange for Thailand acceding to Cambodian territorial claims at Preah Vihear.]

2Bangkok Editor Ron Morris’ book, The Thai Book: A Field Guide to Thai Political Motivations, is available in the Kindle Store.

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