No surrender to intimidation

3 12 2013

Khaosod reports that a group of Thammasat University academics have defied their rector’s order to close the campus, and have taught classes.

The rector is Somkit Lertpaithoon, a well-know anti-government academic. He closed the university for three days, “citing security concerns over the escalating anti-government protests in Bangkok,” protests he’d already supported.

The defiant academics viewed the rector’s “instruction as the cooperation with anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who has called for a nationwide strike by bureaucrats and closure of all universities to pressure the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra into resigning.”

It is no surprise that those involved were from the Nitirat group that has bravely campaigned for “a more liberal change to Thai political system, such as the amendment of the draconic lese majeste laws, and spoken out against Mr. Somkid′s alleged conspiracy with anti-government factions.”

Members of the Nitirat told students that “Somkid′s order to close down the university is unacceptable as it leads to impression that Thammsat University has taken a side in the political crisis.” Their clas was a teach-in on the principles of democracy, a direct challenge to Somkid and the Suthep Thaugsuban plans for a non-democratic Thailand.

Academic Worachet Pakeerut stated that “the rector′s call for an unelected Prime Minister is not based on any academic principle and can be seen as supportive of an extra-judicial political change.”

Several acts of defiance were reported at Thammasat campuses.



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