A tale of two (112) cities

6 02 2012

There have been plenty of news articles on the Nitirat campaign that PPT has been able to comment on. Here we want to point to two stories that we don’t have time to comment on in any detail, but would like to recommend to readers:

At Isaan Record: Article 112 Reform in the Provinces, a story on the Campaign Committee to Amend Article 112 of the Criminal Code (CCAA 112) in Khon Kaen. This was an interesting quote:

Though Sunday’s Khon Kaen discussion proceeded without incident, K[hon] K[aen] U[niversity]’s academics were conspicuously absent, with much of the modest crowd composed of local Red Shirts, independent community members, and student activists.

Boonwat Chumpradit, a Khon Kaen Red Shirt villager in attendance, found the silence of KKU’s professors troubling. “Professors at the university should be the ones leading us,” she said. “We shouldn’t have to be the ones leading them.”

That fits our knowledge of the academics at KKU, which seem like an island of yellow in a sea of red.

At Prachatai: Forum on Article 112 banned at Mahasarakham University, that reports on the Dean of the College of Politics and Governance effectively banning a proposed discussion by students of the lese majeste law.

Dean  Sida Sonsri “explained” (a misleading word in this context) that the College had “not restricted academic freedom” while refusing them a room for discussion. She demanded that the students of her College

hold the forum at a more proper place where ‘diverse views can be expressed with no risk of violence, which is unforeseeable due to conflicts on such a sensitive issue.

PPT would have thought that a real “College of Politics and Governance” in a real university would have been exactly the right place for such a discussion. The Dean should be ashamed of herself, acting as a censor of students rather than their intellectual leader.


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