11 July 2024

Thammasat University has forbidden the Thammasat Alliance Group to use the Tha Prachan campus to stage a protest rally on September 19th unless it formally agrees to comply with the guidelines earlier announced by the Rector.

The announcement came after protest leaders said that they would mention the Thai Monarchy, as well as their 10-point manifesto, about proposed reforms of the revered institution, and that they plan to move the protest to Sanam Luang, if the campus gets too packed with protesters, and will march to Government House on September 20th.

Thursday’s announcement by the university said that the Thammasat Alliance Group had sought permission from the university administration to stage a rally on the Tha Prachan campus on September 19th, but they are yet to confirm that they will comply with the university’s guidelines, which were announced on September 3rd.

The guidelines say that the protest must conform to the law and that the content of the issues to be raised during the rally should be agreed upon by the university administration, the police and the event organizing committee.

Reacting to the sudden order, a defiant Mr. Parit “Penquin” [sic] Chivarak, one of the core protest student leaders, announced today that the group will go ahead with the protest at the Tha Prachan campus “because Thammasat (University) belongs to the people, it does not belong to a few lackeys of the dictator.”

Parit was in the northeastern province of Khon Kaen Thursday morning, with five other protest leaders, including Chatupat Boonpathararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, leading a march in the district township, from the monument to the late Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat to the Khon Kaen Wittayayon School, where he gave a speech on educational reform.

The outspoken leader is due to appear before the Criminal Court tomorrow (Friday), to defend himself against a contempt of court charge, for allegedly leading a rally in front of the court to demand the release of two fellow protest leaders, human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and Panupong Jaadnok, alias Mike Rayong.

Parit said, however, that he is not worried, with as many as 18 court cases pending against him, “because the higher the number of court cases, the less the trustworthiness of the justice system.”

“I view myself as a warrior with some wounds, which is quite normal,” said the protest leader.