Submitted on Wed, 2014-08-20 16:39
The Harvard Crimson on Wednesday removed an article which talked about the pro-coup Thai elite trying to influence the Thai Studies programme at Harvard for the “personal safety of its author.”
Written by Ilya Garger, the article “Troubles with Thai Studies” raised concerns that by allowing the pro-coup Thai elite to influence the establishment of a permanent Thai Studies programme at Harvard, academic freedom may become compromised.
“Having overthrown a series of elected governments and facing growing criticism from cold-war allies, the conservative establishment is working hard to rebuild its legitimacy abroad, and setting up a program at Harvard would be an important victory,” wrote Garger, a former reporter for Time magazine, and a member of the Harvard Club of Thailand’s executive committee.
The article focused on two individuals in particular - former Foreign Ministers Surin Pitsuwan and Surakiart Sathirathai -- as members of the pro-coup conservative Thai establishment who have spearheaded the fundraising campaign for the programme.
The article also mentioned that Surin is working to secure funding from the Crown Property Bureau.
On Wednesday the article was removed from the website, and replaced with an editor’s note, saying that for the safety of the author, the Crimson had decided to remove the article.
“The article that previously appeared at this URL has been temporarily removed due to concerns about the personal safety of its author. The Crimson regrets having to take this action, which is in most cases in violation of our policies, but found the reasons for doing so overwhelming in this case. We expect to be able repost the article's original text, at this URL, in the near future,” said the editor’s note.