THE LEADER of student demonstrators who had raised a 10-point manifesto on reforming the monarchy during Monday’s rally at Thammasat University Rangsit campus said today (August 13) that she is safe and thanked her friends and supporters for helping monitor the situation, Naewna newspaper reported.
Ms. Panusaya Sitthichirawattanakul, or Rung, the leader of the “Thammasat Mob Will Not Endure” protesting students said in her Facebook message that while she is attending classes at the university as usual, the situation remains very worrying.
She asked all those involved to help each other in continuing to monitor the situation because she is certain the authorities would not leave them alone for long.
She added that she is in a very good state of mind right now and that the more pressure applied and more action taken only serves to underscore who they have to fight and what their goals are.
Meanwhile the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights issued a statement today reiterating its position that the university must be a place for expression of thought and no conditions must be set which would lead to the use of violence whether the ideas are liked or not.
The group said the university’s role is not just to give people professional knowledge, nor is it a factory producing labourers according to market demand much less a casting agency to create officials as needed by the state.
It is in fact the place to incubate quality members of the society. This does not mean the skill of memorizing what is stated in textbooks but is actually the ability to think, question and criticize independently.
If members do not have these qualities then there would only be people who want to freeze the society or resist change and they would certainly not want the university to have this type of a role.
Top: Two images of Rung, with the one at right being as she was addressing fellow student demonstrators on Monday. Thai headline says, “still safe.” Photo: Naewna