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Thailand : Academics reject Chitpas for uni event

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  • Thailand : Academics reject Chitpas for uni event

    Academics reject Chitpas for uni event

    Ms Chitpas' outspoken ways were a bit too controversial to carry the Bhirombahkdi family name, and now prove too much also for Chulalongkorn University academics.
    (Photo by Seksan Rojjanametakul)

  • #2
    An open letter from Chulalongkorn MBA student on the graduation ceremony controversy
    Matthew Fong
    Sat, 28/06/2014

    To the CU Community:

    I am a student of Chulalongkorn's Sasin '12 and will be graduating on July 3rd. I am disappointed to hear that Chitpas Kridakorn will be representing the student body to give the graduation oath. I did not choose her, I do not support her, and I condemn the administrator's of Chulalongkorn for promoting her as a student representative.

    Her prior public statements about rural voters were hurtful but also unearths her misunderstanding of democracy. As an American student who studied political science as an undergraduate, its comical that Chulalongkorn is awarding her a masters in political science. When the most prestigious university in Thailand applauds a student who believes poor voters should not be allowed the same vote in a democracy, it says something about the institution. It makes it a joke--it discredits the entire community and hurts Thailand.

    Did Ms. Kridakorn skip the class about self-determination, critical thinking, and empowerment in democracy? Chitpas believes rural and uneducated voters don't understand democracy. However, in no democratic country in the world is any form of education a prerequisite for voting. What is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy is the respect for the law, which Chitpas broke by leading 6-months of debilitating protests that clogged Bangkok streets and prevented many of her fellow students for attending class.

    In a period of transition, Thailand needs educational institutions that are viewed as independent of politics, that will mend the wounds of past mistakes and not aggravate them. I am saddened as a member of the CU community that this hallmark of education in Thailand is not living up to its role in society.

    Matthew Fong
    Chulalongkorn University, Sasin MBA '12


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