Opinion: The Case For and Against Boycotting ‘Sitala’

An image purportedly shows Sitala Wongkrachang joining pro-establishment rallies in 2014.

To boycott or not to boycott singer and pro-coup rally participant Sitala Wongkrachang is the topic of passionate debates this week. It came after Thai netizens discovered that the daughter of a famous pro-coup film star is about to debut in Korea in January as a member of a K-Pop band.

Sitala, shot to fame, or infamy, on Tuesday when pro-democracy camp learned that the woman was in fact the daughter of the late pro-coup film star and film producer Saranyu Wongkrachang.

Here I will put both hats on, one hat at a time, synthesized and earnestly entertain the arguments both for and against the boycott and banning of Sitala that raged within the pro-democracy camp itself.

Boycott Sitala Argument:


Sitala must be punished and set an example by facing the boycott since she joined pro-coup rallies and is the daughter of a staunch and prominent supporter of the PDRC. There should be no place in a democratic society for any coup supporters and for South Korea, a democratic society, to embrace her – it is wrong and will set a bad example.

Sitala’s old photos joining her father at the pro-coup People’s Democratic Reform Committee rallies with the signature Thai-flag tricolour ribbons prior to the May 2014 coup are clear confirmations of her participation in the destruction of democracy.

Millions have been affected, their political rights removed after 2014 and we are still living with the legacies of the coup. Over a hundred young Thais are now charged under the lese majeste law and one wonders if Thailand is instead a truly democratic society now and not under Prayut Chan-o-cha, would these youngsters have their dream for monarchy-reform denied?

So it’s an eye for an eye, and Sitala must pay and even if she is made to pay the price by being dropped from the K-Pop band, it would still be nothing compared to the millions of Thais, many young Thais, who suffered over the years under the military junta and their dreams for a better and more free Thailand denied.

So I say yes, ban and boycott Sitala. I am not calling to lynch her and the price that she must pay is small. Days have passed now and we have heard no apology or even a sense of contrition expressed by Sitala.

So this is the least we can do as citizens to make our voices heard and ensure that people like Sitala would in the future think twice about supporting the deprivation of other people’s political rights through a military coup.
To hell with those who are reluctant to do so. My world is not a utopia. It’s payback time!

Do Not Boycott Sitala Argument:

Sitala who? Who is Sitala? She’s just a very minor and one among the tens of thousands who joined the PDRC rallies, and almost inconsequential player in the pro-coup rallies. Many of them also believed they were only on the right side as they opposed Yingluck Shinawatra back then. They just have a different vision for Thai society.

So why are we trying to boycott her? The answer is clear, it’s because she’s a daughter of a prominent coup supporter and her late dad is famous.


You don’t condemn a very minor play in the protracted political clash that has been dragging on for over a decade now simply because of her father’s. Thailand has lost a decade already. Do we want to be stuck in the past, in toxic politics where everything is just black and white, good versus evil, for yet another decade or more? Move on. Forgive. Leave her alone.

The pro-democracy camp should try to win more supporters, not enemies. Let’s look into the future, not the past, and leave Sitala alone.

We hear stories of intolerance, hysterical tendencies, among ultra-royalists, who want no place in Thailand for those calling for monarchy reforms. While calling for a boycott, or banning, is a right for any citizen, banning or boycotting a very minor supporting actress will only exacerbate the toxic political environment. It’s time for a political detox.