Thammasart University Vice Rector threatened physical violence against a student protesting against university

English: Pridi Phanomyong monument at Thammasa...

English: Pridi Phanomyong monument at Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand ไทย: อนุสาวรีย์ปรีดี พนมยงค์ หน้าตึกโดม มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์ ท่าพระจันทร์ กรุงเทพฯ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Thammasart University Vice rector, has threatened physical violence against a student who was trying to protest against the university for the university’s supporting the Fascist Suthep. Most neutral observer agree with the student, Thammsart University have turned against the teachings of Pridi, and is supporting a dictatorship form of government for Thailand.

Thammasat University (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์; RTGS: Mahawitthayalai Thammasat; IPA: [tʰāmmásàːt]), or in brief TU (Thai: มธ.), is Thailand‘s second oldest institute of higher education. Officially established to be the national university of Thailand on 27 June 1934, the university was originally named by founder Pridi Banomyong, The University of Moral and Political Sciences (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยวิชาธรรมศาสตร์และการเมือง; RTGS: Mahawitthayalai Wicha Thammasat Lae Kan Mueang), reflecting the political fervor of Thailand. It started as an open university, with 7,094 students enrolled in its first academic year studying law and politics. The guiding philosophy of the university was “to teach students to love and cherish democracy”. The university’s name was shortened to its present by the Revolutionary Council. Nevertheless, Thammasat University has always been involved in Thai national politics, counting most Thai political leaders among its graduates. Its original campus at Tha Phra Chan was the site of the 14 October 1973 uprising and the 6 October 1976 Massacre.

In 1960, the university ended its free-entry policy and became the first university in Thailand that requires passing national entrance examinations for admission. Thammasat today offers more than 240 academic programs in 23 different faculties and colleges located on four campuses. Over the nearly 80 years since its founding, Thammasat University has evolved from an open university for law and politics to a prestigious international university offering all levels of academic degrees in many fields and disciplines. It has graduated more than 300,000 undergraduate and graduate students who have greatly contributed to the development and progress of Thai society and the nation. The university’s alumni have included most of all Prime Ministers, leading politicians and government figures, Bank of Thailand governors, Supreme Court presidents, judicial officers, and most of the city’s governors.

The university’s Bangkok Campus is in Phra Nakhon, Bangkok in close proximity to many tourist destinations. The Rangsit campus, where most undergraduate programmes are now held, is in Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani. Thammasat has smaller regional campuses in Lampang, Pattaya, Narathiwat, and Udon Thani. It is ranked No.447 in the world by QS.[2]

Khao Sod English reports:

(7 December) Vice Rector of Thammasat University said he does not regret posting threats against a prominent student activist who had staged a protest against the university rector.

Mr. Saran Chuichai – a transgender student who is more well-known as Ms. Aum Neko – led her fellow activists in the attempt last week to replace the Thai national flag with a black flag over a building in Rangsit Campus of Thammasat University.

However, security guards in the area successfully prevented her group from raising the black flag.

Ms. Aum said the gesture was meant to serve as a rebuke to Thammasat Rector, Mr. Somkid Lertpaithoon, for his alleged cooperation with the so-called People′s Committee for Absolute Democracy With the King as Head of State (PCAD) by closing down the university just few days after PCAD leader Suthep Thaugsuban called for a nationwide closure of universities to support his cause.

This activity has been criticised by many Thammasat students as unruly and insulting toward the university.

But the most furious criticism of Ms. Aum so far has come from Thammasat Vice Rector, Mr. Somchai Chakhatrakan, who posted on his Facebook account yesterday that he was so angered by Ms. Aum′s action that he wishes to resign from his position and “trample” Ms. Aum with his feet.

The Facebook post, which was made on the Public setting, has since been deleted.

In other posts, Mr. Somchai also called on “members of the Thammasat community who love their university and their country” to “defend” Thammasat. “Don′t let these snakes inside the university to poison the dignity of the university,” Mr. Somchai wrote.

He added, “I feel sorry for [Ms. Aum′s] parents for having such an evil child”.

The comment has been widely shared on the social network, drawing much criticism that Mr. Somchai has acted inappropriately as a high-ranking academic in the university.

But in an interview with Khaosod, Mr. Somchai defended his controversial comments by claiming that he could not remain silent and let Ms. Aum desecrated the Thai national flag at will.

“If a child acted like that, what would happen to our country? The Thai heroic ancestors have sacrificed their lives for the country and our homes. The Thai flag is the symbol of Thainess,” Mr. Somchai said, adding that the Thais should not let just one person “destroying our nationhood”.

In a long tirade during the phone interview, Mr. Somchai also described Ms. Aum′s activity as a “defamation” against the nation, the religion, and the monarchy. “I feel pathetic. Why did they allow this kid to do such thing? It damages the dignity of Thainess,” said Mr. Somchai.

“If you see this disgraceful blasphemy of the Thai national flag and tolerate it, please don′t call yourself Thai,” Mr. Somchai fumed, “I will assault it [Ms. Aum]. I won′t do it in the name of a teacher, but I will assault it in the name of Somchai Chakhatrakarn, as a Thai person”.

Nevertheless, as of 7 December, Mr. Somchai has deactivated his Facebook account.

Meanwhile, Ms. Aum said he is disappointed by the threatening manner of the Vice Rector. She told our correspondent she and her friends will submit a complaint to the administrative body of Thammasat about the matter.

“I had expected a lecturer who is teaching at Faculty of Science to possess critical thinking,” Ms. Aum said, referring to Mr. Somchai, “But he ended up threatening violence as a solution. That is not the right thing to do.”

She also insisted that she had no intention to desecrate the Thai national flag, explaining that her activity in the campus was merely a “symbolic action”.


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