Phayao university bans seminar on student movements

Citing an order from the military, a private university in Chiang Mai has called off a public seminar on the role of student movements in Thai politics.
On 23 April 2018, Yamaruddin Songsiri, an anti-junta student activist, posted on Facebook that the military had ordered Phayao University to cancel the seminar on “the role of students in the country’s development.”
The seminar, scheduled for 27 April, was planned by students of Phayao University’s School of Political and Social Science. The panel speakers included Yamaruddin, Parit Chiwarak and Aphiban Somwang. All three are committed student activists and two of them have participated in protests demanding that the junta stop postponing the general election.
Chinaphat (surname withheld due to privacy concerns), one of the seminar organisers, revealed that the Deputy Dean of the School told the organisers on Monday that the cancellation was a direct order from a “phu yai” (literally ‘adult’ but often used to refer to someone with more power).
The students then proposed to invite the three to join the event as participants, instead of speakers, but the Deputy Dean insisted the three must not be involved in any activity of Phayao University.
Subsequently, the organisers agreed to remove the three from the event and proposed to invite other Phayao University students to speak, but the School said they had to submit the names of the speakers to the military for approval.
After a heated three-hour-long meeting, the Deputy Dean concluded that the University will not host the seminar at all.


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