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The Nawaphon movement (Thai: ขบวนการนวพล, alternatively transcribed as Navapol, Nawapol, Nawaphol, translating to both "new force" and "ninth force"[1]) was a Thai extreme right-wing,[2] patriotic,[3] Buddhist[2] and anti-communist[4][5] propaganda organization[6] active during the country's short democratic period in the mid-1970s.

Nawaphon was set up by Wattana Kiewvimol in 1974. Wattana had been the head of the Thai Students Association in the United States, when he studied at Seton Hall University.[3] Nawaphon was supported by the Internal Security Operations Command of the Thai military[7] and the Ministry of Interior.[1] The group was said to have links to wealthy businessmen, politicians, the National Security Council, and Thai military intelligence.[2] Nawaphon rallied merchants, businessmen, and monks who were opposed to social change and democracy, fearing for their wealth.[7] A notable supporter of the organization was the popular monk Kittiwuttho Bhikkhu, who infamously said that killing communists was not a sin.[7][8]

The movement was opposed to parliamentary democracy and campaigned for the three principles of nation, religion, monarchy.[3] Nawaphon attracted considerable support due to the common feeling that these national principles were threatened by left-wing forces.[3] In the mid-1970s the movement was reported to have 500,000 followers. Nawaphon played a key role in the anti-leftist agitation that led to the Thammasat University massacre on 6 October 1976,[3] in which members of the organization were involved.[2]

After the coup re-establishing the military rule following the massacre, Nawaphon's popularity diminished.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Baker, Chris; Phongpaichit, Pasuk (2009), A History of Thailand, Cambridge University Press, p. 192
  2. ^ a b c d Schmid, Alex P.; Jongman, Albert J. (2005), Political Terrorism, Transaction Publishers, p. 671
  3. ^ a b c d e f Leifer, Michael (1995), "Nawaphon Movement", Dictionary of the Modern Politics of South-East Asia, Taylor & Francis, p. 118
  4. ^ Elinor Bartak (1993). The Student Movement in Thailand, 1970-1976. Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, Monash University. p. 27.
  5. ^ Alan Klima (2002). The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand. Princeton University Press. p. 26.
  6. ^ Karin Zackari (2016). Bettina Koch, ed. Violence on the Periphery of the Thai State and Nationhood. State Terror, State Violence: Global Perspectives. Springer VS. p. 86.
  7. ^ a b c Puey Ungphakorn (1977), "Violence and the Military Coup in Thailand", Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, 9 (3): 11, retrieved 27 January 2012
  8. ^ Politics and Religion Mix for Asia's Activist Monks, USC Annenberg School for Communications, Reuters, 11 September 2007