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Khon Kaen University terminates well-known American scholar after he allegedly participates in decentralisation workshop

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Khon Kaen University’s famous American scholar, David Eirich Streckfuss, is now without a work permit after his participation in a workshop that partially involved decentralisation. The university terminated his work permit after immigration police paid him a vist, in what they say, was a routine interview for visa extensions.

Streckfuss is an independent academic who oversees the Council on International Educational Exchange Khon Kaen programme at the university, which was founded in 1994. He also founded The Isaan Record during his 30 years spent in the Kingdom.

Prachatai, released the termination letter that featured the KKU Faculty of Public Health citing an “inability to perform assigned duties” as the reason for ending his contract as project director before its August 15 renewal date. Streckfuss’ contract at the Faculty of Public Health from 15 August 2020 to 15 August 2021, was cancelled on 19 March 2021, according to the university’s announcement.

The decision reportedly came after police visited the University President and Faculty Dean, after Streckfuss participated in a workshop which partly involved decentralisation. Since the cancellation of his work permit, Streckfuss has been on a 30 day visa which will expire next Monday. Now, he is working on getting a work permit with the Buffalo Birds Production Co., a company that produces documentaries and organises events where he is currently working as a coordinator. The company is a registerd company of The Isaan Record, in which he founded.

Prachatai indicated that The Isaan Record is also trying to secure a work permit for Streckfuss, as he says this is the first time that his work permit has been cancelled in this manner. He says Immigration police came to interview him and Khon Kaen University for the 3rd time on 16 April. But the Immigration Division Commander says the interview is just a standard procedure to be carried out when foreigners submit an application for a visa extension.

Streckfuss has written for the Bangkok Post and he has also been published in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is also the author of Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté, published by Routledge Press, in 2011. Streckfuss has a PhD in Southeast Asian history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Message garbled. Please resend.
    This man is fired because he was involved in work that involved decentralisation.
    It appears that is an offence, but why?

  2. Avatar

    Jonh

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Good book by the way… Explain perfect that law….

  3. Avatar

    Gosport

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    Thailand must deport this guy. He is the destabilizer. His company must be shut down. Infringement on national security is intolerable. 30 days is too much for this matter.

  4. Avatar

    Max Welter

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    could you please explain, what “decentralisation” means and why it is supposedly so bad that a deserved lecturer loses his job ? I would think, your article leaves the majority of readers guessing what all this is about ??

  5. Avatar

    ynwaps

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    The good thing about decentralisation is that it’s decentralised.

  6. Avatar

    Jason

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    This story contrasts quite well with your other story “Thailand looks at proposals to make it easier for expats and long termers”. Maybe they should add “as long as you don’t rock the boat…”

  7. Avatar

    Pef

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    I was wondering what Issan John was up to!!
    Decentralisation is the gateway to all sorts of things I’m can’t mention here.
    Keep it centralised, and walk the line.

  8. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    “Maybe they should add “as long as you don’t rock the boat…”

    They already do, @Jason – it’s a condition of the work permit that you do what the work permit specifies and permits, not work at something else and make a living from it.

    That’s why it’s called a “permit”.

    He was working for the Faculty of Public Health at KK Uni – that’s all he had a work permit for.

    “This man is fired because he was involved in work that involved decentralisation.
    It appears that is an offence, but why?”

    The offence is that he was “involved in work” he didn’t have a work permit for, @toby andrews.

    Looking at his past history of paid political activism, sponsored and paid for by foreign “foundations” such as the Heinrich Bohl foundation, and warnings he received before for working outside his permit, given during a number of different Thai governments, he was very clearly working and making a living from activities that he didn’t have a work permit for and has been for decades.

    Whatever his politics, he was making a living from working at things he had no permit to do and he’s had plenty of warnings but thought he was above the law.

  9. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    Very well. What work is decentralisation?
    Please explain what it is Small Simon.

  10. Avatar

    Alavan

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    So at Thai universities you can’t develop your own ideas, opinions and solutions on aproblem?
    And I who thought that developing those skills was part of university education.
    And some things work better centralised, others decentralised. That is why yoy can study that

  11. Avatar

    Peter Nielsen

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7:03 am

    I was thinking the same, Alavan. But perhaps the Thai authorities do not know the difference between “critique” and “criticize”. Academia doesn’t criticize, but maybe the authorities don’t know that.

  12. Avatar

    James Pate

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 8:16 am

    I don’t know anything about this man or his work. Obviously, he stepped on the wrong toes, maybe unintentionally. I must wonder if this would have happened if he had worked at Chula or Thammasat. There could be a lot more to this story than what’s reported so far.

  13. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 10:53 am

    “Very well. What work is decentralisation?
    Please explain what it is Small Simon.”

    The “decentralisation” he was advocating, @andrew tobys, as explained in his Isaan Record, was to make Isaan a separate, self-governing, autonomous region with Khon Kaen as the capital – similar to Scotland in the UK.

    Unsurprisingly, successive governments haven’t appreciated his input and he’s had a number of warnings before – the only surprise is that he’s not had his work permit revoked before.

    “And some things work better centralised, others decentralised. That is why yoy can study that”

    But that isn’t what he was at the Faculty of Public Health to teach, @Alavan!

  14. Avatar

    Colin G

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    @toby andrews

    Have you not realised that ‘simon small’ is ‘issan john’ reincarnated ?

  15. Avatar

    John

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    That would be Separatisme not Decentralisation

  16. Avatar

    somyos

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    @Max Welter – Thailand is an independent country. It has its own regime for more than 600 years, so any American should not incendiaries in our country. Do not conspire with politicians and university professors to create social disaster in Thailand.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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