Pavin Chachavalpongpun

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Pavin Chachavalpongpun
ปวิน ชัชวาลพงศ์พันธ์
Pavin in 2012
Born (1971-03-04) 4 March 1971 (age 53)
Bangkok, Thailand
Known forCriticism of the Thai monarchy
Academic background
ThesisThainess: Hegemony and Power: A Study of Thai Nationhood and Its Implications on Thai-Burmese Relations, 1988–2000 (2002)
Academic work
DisciplinePolitical scientist
InstitutionsKyoto University

Pavin Chachavalpongpun (Thai: ปวิน ชัชวาลพงศ์พันธ์; RTGSPawin Chatchawanphongphan; born 4 March 1971) is a Thai scholar notable for his criticism of the Thai monarchy. He currently resides in Japan as a political exile.


Pavin received his bachelor's degree from Chulalongkorn University in 1993 and his doctorate from SOAS in 2002. He worked as a diplomat in Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for thirteen years, then as a political science academic, and he is currently a professor at Kyoto University,[1][2] where he is editor-in-chief of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies' Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia.[3] He is the author of several books including A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relations (2005), Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin and His Foreign Policy (2010), and Coup, King, Crisis: A Critical Interregnum in Thailand (2020).

Criticism of the Thai monarchy[edit]

Pavin is a well-known critic of the Thai monarchy and the state of Thai politics more generally. He regularly gives lectures and writes articles, books and opinion editorials on these topics for outlets such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and the South China Morning Post.[4][5] He supported reforms of the monarchy and the country's lèse majesté law. In 2011, he launched a campaign to free a political prisoner, Ah Kong, who was charged with lèse majesté for allegedly sending text messages which insulted the monarchy to an unknown person.[6] After the 2014 Thai coup d'état, the junta ordered him to turn himself in, but he refused and even mocked the summons by asking if he could send his pet chihuahua to meet with junta leader General Prayut Chan-o-cha in his stead.[7][8] On 13 June 2014, the NCPO issued an arrest warrant against Pavin,[9] and he has lived in exile ever since. His current residence is in Kyoto, Japan. In July 2019, he was apparently assaulted near his residence, in an incident allegedly linked to the Thai authorities.[4][10]

In 2020, he launched a Facebook page "The Royalists Marketplace" as a forum to discuss and criticize the Thai monarchy freely. The Thai authorities successfully took action to shut down access to the Facebook page, which has accumulated around one million users, and which Facebook may be appealing,[11] while Pavin is facing a charge of cybercrime.[12] He has since launched a replacement Facebook page "The Royalists Marketplace-Talad Luang".[13][14] A Facebook spokesperson stated, “Requests like this are severe, contravene international human rights law, and have a chilling effect on people’s ability to express themselves... We work to protect and defend the rights of all internet users and are preparing to legally challenge this request.”[15]


  1. ^ Curriculum Vitae Pavin Chachavalpongpun (PDF).
  2. ^ "CHACHAVALPONGPUN, Pavin". Center for Southeast Asian Studies Kyoto University. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Editorial Committee of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia | Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia". Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b Caryl, Christian. "Opinion | Another Post contributor is under attack — this time from Thailand". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Pavin Chachavalpongpun". South China Morning Post. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Thailand's Fearlessness: Free Akong". 2 December 2011.
  7. ^ Saiyasombut, Saksith (26 May 2014). "TIMELINE: Thailand Coup Aftermath 2014 – May 26-28". Asian Correspondent. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Muzzling Media in Coup-Ed up Thailand". Impact on Net. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 7 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  9. ^ Chachavalpongpun, Pavin (19 June 2014). "Thailand junta tries to silence its critics to protect the king". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Exiled Thai critic attacked with burning chemical at home in Japan". The Japan Times. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Facebook reportedly plans to sue Thailand's government over its demand that the company block users within the country from accessing a group critical of its king". Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Thai police arrest activist over monarchy protest". Reuters. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  13. ^ "รอยัลลิสต์มาร์เก็ตเพลส-ตลาดหลวง". Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  14. ^ "Royalist Marketplace returns". Prachatai English. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  15. ^ "After block, new Facebook group criticising Thai king gains 500,000 members". Reuters. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.[dead link]

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