Panel discussion “Middle Classes in Southeast Asia : Hegemony and Illiberalism” 11 July 2018, At the Chumbhot-Pantip Conference Room, 4th Floor Prajadhipok Building, Chulalongkorn University
The “most political” Thai studies conference was held last week, with calls for academic freedom in Thai society. The junta, however, responded by summoning three scholars. Every three years, the International Conference on Thai Studies (ICTS) is held as a platform for scholars and researchers. This year, the 13th ICTS was hosted in Chiang Mai and 385 papers were presented between 15 and 18 July. But the 13th ICTS was also a symbolic protest against the ruling junta.
The Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai has threatened three academics who allegedly put up banners against the junta with being summoned by the military.
Weakening elected government officials, enhancing bureaucracy, and increasing relations with influential capitalists is what the military is trying to do to secure its legitimacy after “the transition”, says Prajak Kongkirati, a political scientist from Thammasat University.
The Thai military court has rejected a custody request concerning the 14 anti-junta activists on one of their charges. However, they still have to face trial. At about 11:30 Tuesday, 7 July 2015, the Thai military court rejected a police custody petition to detain the 14 embattled anti-junta activists, who have been in custody since 26 June 2015.
It is ten years since Prachatai was founded as an alternative media outlet.
The military ordered the editor of anti-establishment socio-political Same Sky journal to delete a Facebook status which states the military’s attempt to censor the publishing house. This shows how serious the decline of basic human rights under the junta is in Thailand. On Sunday afternoon, the military ordered Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Same Sky journal (or Fah Diew Kan in Thai), to delete the Facebook status on the conversation with Prajak Kongkirati, a renown political scientist from Thammasat University, at the annual Book Fair in central Bangkok.
Since the coup d’état on 22 May, the junta has threatened and detained academics and students in many tertiary educational institutions. It even sent soldiers to storm on-going academic seminars and force them to stop. Despite the climate of fear, Thai academics are now protesting against the junta and the suppression of free speech by using a metal box. Yes, a metal box -- or ‘Peep’ in Thai.
The military and police on Thursday evening detained four academics and three student activists for organizing and participating in a seminar about the end of dictatorial regimes in foreign countries after forcing the seminar to be stopped. They were released about 9.30pm. The seminar was a part of the political seminar series “Democracy Classroom”, organized by League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy (LLTD), a progressive Thammasat student group.
About 50 people, led by the Assembly for the Defence of Democracy (AFDD), a group of pro-electoral democracy academics, organized an anti-martial law activity on Thursday evening, which suddenly turned into an anti-coup event after learning that the military had seized power at 5 pm on Thursday. Puangthong R.