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Thailand’s Powerful Military Orders Boycott of Online Shopping Platform Lazada

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In Thailand, the combined forces of the Army, Navy, and Airforce have taken a strident stance against the Online Shopping platform Lazada.

This comes after the online shopping platform aired an Ad on TikTok deemed inflammatory towards the Royal Family.

On Monday, the Royal Thai Army banned its soldiers and agencies from buying products through Lazada’s online shopping platform.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces Command, Royal Thai Air Force, and Royal Thai Navy also reacted in softer tones.

The army’s order responded to a controversial online promotion for Lazada by transgender influencer Aniwat Prathumthin, better known as Nara Crepe Katoey.

The Lazada ad was disrespectful

Many viewers saw her and the woman in a wheelchair in the TikTok video as mocking a disabled member of the Royal Family.

Intersect Design Factory created the ad as part of Lazada’s 5.5 shopping festival campaign. Intersect contracted Nara to make the ad to be shown on her Tik Tok account.

The online video shows Nara and Thidarat Chaokuwiang, a woman who uses a wheelchair, joking about a borrowed blouse and discount clothing.

In the TikTok video, the disabled character shows how she can stand up and wear an outfit that some netizens believe is an oblique reference to the royal family.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces Command instructed all staff on Monday night to abide by the military code of ethics. In addition, they must maintain strong allegiance to the nation, religion, and monarchy.

According to Air Force spokesman AVM Boonlert Andara, air force personnel and their families were asked to think carefully before purchasing through Lazada’s online platform. Above all, the promotional TikTok video showed disrespect for human values, particularly those with disabilities or illnesses.

“Zero-tolerance” attitude

ACM Napadet Thupatimiya, the air force chief, was not happy with the controversial ad and spoke with air force personnel about it when he first learned about it. Because he believed they would all act with discretion, he did not issue a specific order.

Adm Somprasong Nilsamai, the navy’s chief, was also concerned and asked that people view the ad with discretion, according to spokesman V/Adm Pokkrong Manathatphalin.

According to him, the navy would like everyone to adopt a “zero-tolerance” attitude toward any disrespect for human dignity.

Specifically, the navy spokesperson asked product manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers to make ads that promoted sympathy and understanding between people in a peaceful society.

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