Conservative academics

6 08 2009

PPT recently noted a petition – oops, letter – by the rectors of all state universities expressing opposition to the red-shirt movement campaign to gather signatures to petition the king on former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In that post we observed that Thailand’s state universities are dominated by conservative royalist, administrations. We noted that Chulalongkorn University is now the bastion of yellow-shirted academics.

Seemingly to make this point absolutely clear, it is reported in The Nation (5 August 2009: “Academics come out in opposition”) that “more than 100 academics from Chulalongkorn University circulated an open letter opposing the petition seeking a royal pardon for ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra on grounds that the move was unprecedented, illegal and inappropriate.”

The academics “warned about the adverse impact the petition would have on the monarchy…. Saying that the “petition is deemed politically motivated to tarnish this revered institution…”. They claimed that the “organisers of the petition” had avoided “prescribed procedures and legal provisions” with the intention of “undermining the monarchy” by having the “public endorse the petition.”.

Like the Democrat Party-led government, these academics seem to believe that those signing the petition are duped and called on the “authorities concerned to help raise public awareness on the issue.” They also raised the issue of loyalty: “The organisers, especially Thaksin, should remember that they had pledged allegiance to the monarchy and should not be inflicting damage to it…”.

Chulalongkorn University has always been royalist and PPT wouldn’t expect that to change. The current political conflicts have caused Chula academics to display their royalism more clearly. Thammasat University was established by Pridi Phanomyong in order to challenge this conservative bastion of royalists. In recent years, however, the royalists have worked hard and successfully to gain control of Thammasat (and state universities in general), recognizing the significance of universities for maintaining ideological hegemony.



3 responses

7 08 2009
นักวิชาการคลั่งเจ้า ยึดมหาลัยหมดแล้ว « Liberal Thai

[…] 2009 — chapter 11 Conservative academics August 6, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – chapter […]

7 08 2009
นักวิชาการคลั่งเจ้า ยึดมหาลัยหมดแล้ว « Liberal Thai 1

[…] academics August 6, 2009 ที่มา – Political Prisoners in Thailand แปลและเรียบเรียง – chapter […]

14 08 2009
New: Chulongkorn University and its conservative politics « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] PPT has previously blogged on Chulalongkorn University’s conservatism here. The universiyt’s administration has now taken this a step […]

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