Fri, December 03, 2021

in-focus

Obec weighs in on protests at schools


The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec) will send letters to schools regarding students’ expressing political views, following a request from Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Minister Anek Laothamatas.

The move comes after students at about a dozen high schools nationwide launched “three-finger salute” protests on Monday in solidarity with university students’ anti-government rallies.
Amnat Wichayanuwat, secretary general of Obec, said the office encouraged students to exercise their rights and freedom under restrictions that would not lead to violence or conflict.

Recent student protests have called for reform of the monarchy, which has triggered arrest of student leaders and a backlash from ultra-royalist groups.
Amnat insisted, however, that Obec’s main concern was to prevent Covid-19 outbreaks at crowded protest venues. Meanwhile, students’ claims that teachers were promoting propaganda in classrooms to shape their political opinions would be examined, he added.
Anek said that it was natural for people to voice their opinions but he wanted directors and deans to look out for any attempts to “undermine the monarchy”.
“Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has repeatedly emphasised that the future of the country could not be decided by violence,” he said.
Regarding political demonstrations, he said universities had regulations prohibiting people who were not students from gathering on their premises, adding that protests required efficient organisation to prevent chaos.

Published : August 18, 2020

By : The Nation