The Thammasat University Student Union and the TU Political Parody group have issued an open letter apologizing for a set of effigies mocking former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra shown during its annual football match with Chulalongkorn University in 2012.
Pictures of the political parody parade at the 68th Chulalongkorn-Thammasat Traditional Football Match in 2012 were recently posted on social media. The open letter said that imagery used in the parade diminished human dignity and attacked Yingluck for her gender, and that this reflects the patriarchal norm in Thai society.
“On behalf of the Thammasat University Student Union and TU Political Parody, we regret these actions and sincerely apologize for the incident and emotional distress and harm it may have caused,” said the letter.
“We emphasize that we support the culture of monitoring, scrutinizing, and criticising politicians because it is the responsibility of citizens to be aware of the politics that affect their lives. However, criticism that aims towards personal matters – especially on biased views regarding gender identity is unacceptable and must be eradicated from Thai society.”
The letter, issued on Monday (22 May), the 9th anniversary of the 2014 military coup which saw Yingluck fleeing the country to live in exile, also said that the only way towards democracy is to be confident in the electoral process. The two organizations also showed support for victims of the coup who were forced to flee Thailand.
“We hope the new government will lead them towards justice and accelerate the restoration of the state law and democracy to Thailand for good,” said the letter.
Yingluck responded to the letter through her personal Twitter account, thanking the two student groups for their apology. She also encourages them to continue creatively expressing their views on politics and pushing Thailand towards true democracy.