Hunger Games Stars Back Thai Salute Protesters
Stars of the Hunger Games have shown their support for anti-coup protesters in Thailand who have been using the films' three-fingered salute as a way of showing opposition.
Actress Natalie Dormer told Sky News she thought it was "incredible" that people have chosen to use the gesture as a symbol of opposition following the May 22 coup.
"Anything that galvanises people in a positive way to fight against oppression cannot be criticised in any shape or form. If it's helping them, then it can only be a positive, " she said.
The Thai military says it will arrest anyone who uses the salute, which is also a response to bans on political gatherings of more than five people.
Junta spokesman Colonel Weerachon Sukhondhapatipak said authorities were "monitoring the movement" and would take action if the salute is performed in large groups.
He said that if protesters ignore a warning to stop "we will have to make an arrest".
Sam Claflin, who plays Finnick Odair, said it easy to forget "how big these films are and how many people do hear every word that is spoken".
In the Hunger Games books and films, which also star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, the salute symbolises rebellion against totalitarian rule.
Critics of the coup, including the youngest daughter of ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, have posted photographs of themselves flashing three fingers on Facebook and other social media sites.
"Dear #HungerGames. We've taken your sign as our own. Our struggle is non-fiction," wrote one Twitter user.
It is unlikely that people who post photos of the salute on the internet will be detained.
Despite the warning to protesters, the junta offered a reprieve to the country's vital tourism industry.
It lifted the curfew at three popular beach resorts - Phuket, Koh Samui and Pattaya - to ease the impact on tourists.
The Hunger Games films, which also star the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, have become worldwide box office hits.
Last week Taylor Swift apologised to fans after cancelling a Bangkok concert scheduled for June 9 due to events in the country.
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