Military summons university lecturer over anti-junta banner

The military in northern Thailand have summoned a university lecturer and a rector over an anti-junta banner and warned that there should be no political activity on campus.

The Deputy Commander of the 32nd Army from Surasak Montri Military Camp in the northern province of Lampang and one other military officer on Friday interrogated Lek Saengmee-anuplab, the rector of Lampang Rajabhat University, and Pinyapan Potjanalawan, a lecturer in the Humanity and Social Science Faculty of the University, about a banner which called for an end to military court trials for civilians.

On 15 March, the banner with the message “Civilians must not be tried by the military courts” was found hanging on the pedestrian bridge in front of Lampang Rajabhat University.

After the banner was spotted, the military quickly removed it from the site.

During the 30-minute interrogation, the officers stated that whoever was responsible for hanging the banner will be summoned for talks and that no political movement or activity should take place in the university.

The officers added that they have collected fingerprints from the banner in an attempt to find those who are involved in hanging it.

According to Pinyapan, he was informed by the rector’s office that he and the university rector would be summoned for a discussion with the military on campus on Wednesday. But he was not informed about the topic of the talk.

When he asked the military why he was summoned, the officers told Pinyapan that it was a mistake and that they only intended to summon the rector and personnel from the Student Affairs Office of the university, added the lecturer.

Pinyapan is an academic whose research topics focus on Thailand’s political and cultural history. He is an active contributor to Prachatai’s Blogazine and Siam Intelligence.