Stop threatening freedom of the people

Amid political conflicts which have increasingly grown intense since the coup in 2006, people who hold differing political views from the powers that be have been subject to ever more threats to their rights and freedoms.  The threat has also extended to academia, with Assoc Prof Dr Somsak Jeamtheerasakul being the latest victim, as a result of his expression of opinions about the role and status of the monarchy in Thai society in several academic forums.

We, a group of academics under the name Santiprachatham, believe that Somsak’s open and straightforward expression of his opinions has been in good faith, with the intent of seeing the monarchy co-exist harmoniously with democracy, which is essential to the security of both the institution and Thai society.  Somsak is not the first or only academic to criticize the monarchy and democracy. It is now time for Thai society to accept the expression of opinions on this issue.  It is cause for grave concern that Somsak’s expression of opinions on academic grounds, which is meant to call on the establishment to be aware of problems currently plaguing Thai society, is alleged to be an offence against the monarchy, an allegation which can potentially be used as a pretext for the next coup.    

We urge all parties involved to stop threatening the academic freedom of Somsak and other individuals who hold differing political views.  Please be aware that the expression of differing views is not a problem.  Instead, widespread violations of the rights and freedoms of the people which have occurred since the 2006 coup is the root cause of the crisis which Thai society now faces.

With respect to rights, freedoms and justice


1. Krittaya Achawaniijjakul, Institute of Population and Social Research, Mahidol University
2. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, Center for Human Rights Studies, Mahidol University
3. Thanet Aphornsuwan, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
4. Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
5.  Puangthong Rungswasdisab, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University
6.  Viengrat Netiphoti, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalonglongkorn University
7.  Jakkrit Sangkhamanee, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalonglongkorn University
8.  Kasem Penpinan, Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
9.  Naruemon Thabjumphol, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalonglongkorn University
10. Phumi-in Singhchawala, Faculty of Political Science, Chiang Mai University
11. Pinkaew Luang-aramsri, Faculty of Sociology, Chiang Mai University
12. Saowanee Alexander, Faculty of Arts, University of Ubon Ratchathani
13. Lakkhana Panwichai, writer
14. Boonsong Chaisingananon, Faculty of Arts, Silapakorn University
15. Jiraphon Katejumphol, Faculty of Humanities, Ramkhamhang University
16. Thanaphol Eawsakul, Fah Diew Kan (Same Sky) Publishing House
17. Karnt Thassanaphak, writer, photographer and artist
18. Naphat Sasian, Graduate Student on history, Chulalongkorn University
19. Wanrak Suwanwattana, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
20. Aphichart Sathitniramai, Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University
21. Ida Aroonwong, Aan (Read) journal
22. Bencharat Sae Chua, Center for Human Rights Studies, Mahidol University
23. Vipar Daomanee, Investigation Committee on 6 Oct 1976 Incident
24. Suddan Wisutthilak,  Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammsat University
25. Chatetha Phuanghat, Department of Social Science, Faculty of Arts, Silapakorn University
26. Chusak Phattarakulwanich, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
27. Adadol Ingkawanich, University of Westminster, UK
28. Pundit Chanrojanakij, Faculty of Political Science, Ramkhamhang University
29. Orn-anong Thipphimol, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
30. Nualnoi Treerat, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University
31. Darin Inmuan, Fah Diew Kan (Same Sky) publishing house
32. Chatree Prakitnontakan, Faculty of Architecture, Silapakorn University
33. Mukhom Wongthes, writer
34. Rakniran Wanweerapong
35. Phinyaphan Phojjanalawan
36. Achara Rakyutitham, Faculty of Arts, Silapakorn University
37. Niramol Yuwabun
38. Phansak Srithep
39. Yaowalak Anuphan, lawyer
40. Chayanin Tiangphittayakorn
41. Uchane Chiangsane
42. Chatree Somnuek
43. Witthaya Phanphanich
44. Pipob Udomitthipong
45. Rungrawee Chalermsriphinyorach, International Crisis Group
46. Kittisak Saritdisuk
47. Thanasak Saichampa
48. Jon Ungphakorn
49. Prajak Kongkirati, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University
50. Yukti Mukdawichit, Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University


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