Bangkok student president dismissed for controversial video chat

The president of Chulalongkorn Univesity’s student council was dismissed from his position after he presented a controversial video at a student orientation in 2021. The video featured talks by two prominent protest leaders, nicknamed Penguin and Rung, who are known critics of Thailand’s monarchy. In his talk, Penguin raised his middle finger, and encouraged students to do the same. Thai PBS reported that the Student Affairs Office called this a “vulgar” gesture, and said it went against Thai culture and therefore could “cause disunity” among students.

Another controversial person who appeared in the video chat was Pavin Chachavalpongpun, an academic and critic of the monarchy who fled to Japan in 2014.

Chulalongkorn deducted 10 points from the student council president’s behaviour score, and dismissed him from his position. The former president, Netiwit, said yesterday that he spoke to the university’s vice director to acknowledge the decision. The Student Affairs Office condemned him for being complicit in the event without telling the office about it first, and for inviting Penguin as a speaker. Penguin was recently granted three months bail from a prison sentence. Thai PBS said Netiwit compared the decision to dismiss him to a coup.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Bangkok NewsPolitics NewsThailand NewsThailand Protest News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.