Pacharaporn “Nam” Chantarapadit was crowned winner on Sunday night in a contest broadcast live on national TV. During Saturday’s question-and-answer round, which coincided with a huge anti-government rally in Bangkok, she was asked what she would say to each side to prevent violence between the protesters and the government.
“With my heart, I choose the protesters,” answered Nam, who hails from Ranong. “The people have the right to express their views on what is best for the country.”
Addressing the government in English, she said; If you call this country Thailand, we need a real democracy. And moreover, we need you to get out of the country.”
Miss Grand Thailand called Negro and Black Coal
Government supporters wasted no time in hitting back on social media, many using racist insults like “Negro” and “Black Coal.” Referring to Nam’s dark complexion. Such colour prejudice runs deep in Thailand. Skin color reflects the ethnic divide between the usually darker-skinned people of the Northeast and their lighter-skinned royalists.
Supporters of Nam and the pro-democracy movement leapt to her defence online. They also condemned the attacks on her appearance as ignorant and primitive.
Pro-democracy netizens are also currently calling for a boycott of Thai stars and idols. Stars who have backed the government or failed to show support for the protesters. The latest to be targeted are Thai K-pop stars. With the hashtags “Ban Thai idols famous to Korean people” (#แบนแทกุกไลน์) and also “Ban Thai Idols in South Korea” (#แบนไอดอลคนไทยในเกาหลี) now trending on Twitter.
Many netizens said they have “unfollowed” their favorites because of their silence, the Nation reported.
Also attracting the ire of pro-democracy netizens is Vorasit Issara, the owner of Sri Panwa resort in Phuket. “Ban Sri Panwa” has been trending after he posted on Instagram that pro-democracy leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul should be jailed for her activism.