University warns lecturers not to criticise junta-sponsored draft charter

A public university has notified its lecturers not to criticise the junta-sponsored draft constitution, saying public institutions have to support the government.

Arjinjonathan Arjinkit, lecturer of the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science of Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University in the central province of Chachoengsao posted a status on his Facebook account on 25 May titled ‘When the university monitors your Facebook’.

The Facebook status was posted along with the image of a memorandum issued by the Office of the President of the University and signed by its Director, informing faculty deans to warn university personnel not to post online content against the government which could create conflict.

“The university is a public institution [which] must cooperate with the government,” reads part of the document. “[University personnel] should not post information, which is not creative and might create conflict in society, which could be illegal under the 2007 Computer Crime Act.”

According to Matichon Online, Nopporn Khunkha, another lecturer from the same university, reported that the statement from the President’s Office was issued after on one of the university’s lecturers posted a message on Facebook criticising the draft constitution written by the junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC).

Nopporn added that Meechai Ruchuphan, the chairman of the CDC, is the head of Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University Council.

In response to the university’s statement, Arjinjonathan urged the university to clarify its action to the public, asking whether such a statement is against human rights and freedom of expression.

A memorandum issued by the Director of the Office of the President of the University informing its faculty deans to warn university personnel not to post online content against the government (Photo from Arjinjonathan Arjinkit’s Facebook page)

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