Submitted on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 - 11:10 AM
After the Harvard Crimson 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,” the paper on Thursday reposted the article on its website saying it was now safe because the author had left Thailand.
“This article was temporarily removed from thecrimson.com due to the author's concerns for his personal safety while in Thailand. We have reposted the article, without changes, now that the author has left that country,” said the editor’s note on Thursday.
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. A death threat had been reported by a social network user against Ilya Garger, the author of “Troubles with Thai Studies.”
The article 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 and said that Surin is working to secure funding from the Crown Property Bureau.