BANGKOK — Thailand’s military junta is producing a new music video for a patriotic song from 1971 as part of its ongoing effort to woo the hearts and minds of the Thai people.
The song, called “Let Us Love Each Other,” was written by Nakorn Thanomsap under Thailand's military dictatorship in 1971, officials at the Ministry of Social and Welfare Development said. The inspiration for the song's music video revival came from junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), officials said.
The song’s lyrics proclaim that all citizens born under the Thai flag are "Thais," regardless of their ethnic differences. The song also urges Thai citizens to band together and defend Thailand from "the arrogant who insult the Golden Land of the King."
Three hundred soldiers from various army units participated in the filming of the music video yesterday in Bangkok. They were joined by a number of Thai celebrities, such as actress Usamanee Waithayanon and actor Akkapan Namart.
"The NCPO decided to remake the patriotic song so that children of new generations will know the song and learn to sing it," an official said. "It's meant to reinforce the spirit and adjust their attitude about democratic lifestyle."
Since ousting the elected government on 22 May, the NCPO has coupled a harsh crackdown on dissidents with a soft-power PR blitz of free concerts, movie tickets, and FIFA World Cup telecasts.
NCPO leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha also penned the lyrics for a patriotic ballad called "Returning Happiness to the People" in June. The song has been extensively broadcasted by state-owned media and the junta regularly uses it as the introduction to their televised announcements.
However, a number of critics of the coup have ridiculed the song, with some Internet commentators teasing that Gen. Prayuth's musical talent comes from a family gene because his two twin daughters were previously members of a Thai pop band called Badz.