Chulalongkorn University got some terrible publicity just over a week ago when a royalist initiation ceremony for first-year students descended into chaos after a group of students staged a walk out and one of them was put in a headlock by a royalist botany assistant professor Ruengwit Bunjongrat.
The assistant professor went off to a hospital and the university administration defended him, which only seemed to make the whole sad story worse. Initially it decided to “blame” the head of the Student Council, Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal, who the “leadership” wants to be rid of because he has taken positions contrary to the royalism promoted by the administration.
Rather too late, the university’s “leadership” mumbled something about “investigating.” But taking its lead from the military junta, “investigating” involves blaming victims and those it sees as “enemies.”
According to Khaosod, the university’s “leadership” is now “investigating the student activist it earlier blamed for an altercation during freshman induction in which a professor put a student in a headlock.”
A week later, the administration is back to blaming and “investigating” Netiwit, accusing him of “violating two university regulations.”
Make no mistake, like the lese majeste case against Jatuphat Boonpattaraksa, this is an attempt to frame Netiwit.
He’s accused of having “intentionally performed an inappropriate act …when Netiwit and his friends walked out of the ceremony…”. Netiwit is also accused of “hosting a meeting on government property without permission…”.
The university’s vice president of student affairs reckons that Netiwit is guilty of insubordination and failing to recognize the hierarchy that requires students to grovel under the authority of the university’s staff.
No doubt the military junta is pleased with its subordinates who “administer” Thailand’s most royalist of indoctrination centers.