Junta says free movie screening campaign is not populism, not from public budget

 
A Thai military junta spokesman said on Thursday that the free screening of the patriotic historical movie King Naresuan 5 should not be called populism and that the free seats are from the “kindness” of the private sector.
 
Col Winthai Suvaree, spokesman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said calling this campaign “populism” is not fair to the military and the private sector who showed their “kindness” for the “public interest for the Thai people,” Wassana Nanuam, military affairs reporter of the Bangkok Post, reported on her personal Facebook page.  
 
The spokesman, who also starred in Naresuan 2 and 5, said the junta chose the movie because “the movie is about the patriotism of Thai people, and reflects Thailand’s culture and traditions and the respect and admiration of the Thai people for the monarchy,” as quoted by Wassana. 
 
Sahamongkol Film, the company that produced and distributed the movie, earlier said on its Facebook page that the free screening comes from cooperation between Sahamongkol Film International, Prommitr Production and 160 cinemas across the country. “There is no subsidy from the public budget at all. This is a form of cooperation so that the people can enjoy an activity which creates happiness.”
 

The Official trailer of Naresuan 5
 
Last week in northern Lampang, the military managed to give free seats in a cinema for red and yellow political leaders, police and military officers to watch “The Legend of King Naresuan” together. The NCPO will also provide free screenings of the film for the public throughout the country on June 15, when the weekly “happiness” event will also take place at Lumpini Park in Bangkok. 
 
The film Legend of King Naresuan is known for its glorification of patriotism. The history is that King Naresuan, reigning in the Ayutthaya Kingdom from 1590 to 1605, freed Siam from Burmese rule and greatly expanded Siamese territories. He was therefore regarded as one of the most revered monarchs in Thai history. 
 
Thai government under the pro-establishment Democrat Party in 2010 allocated 100 million baht of a 200 million baht budget of the Thai Khem Khaeng programme to fund Naraesuan 3 and 4, directed by Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol.