CHIANG RAI – Due to a surge of anti-coup protests organized by students in the past week, Thailand’s military government has instructed state universities across the country to prevent any further “inappropriate political expression” on their campuses.
Sutthasri Wongsaman, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, said the measure was adopted after a meeting between the Ministry and the chairman of the military junta, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, on 21 November.
“We have instructed [the officials] across the country to monitor the situation in a more aggressive way, in order to prevent children and youths from displaying inappropriate political expression in the future,” Sutthasri said yesterday.
According to Khaosod News, Gen. Prayuth, who also serves as Prime Minister, has personally instructed Sutthasri Wongsaman to closely monitor the situation of student activists “expressing their opinions, especially their three-finger salutes.”
Student activists in Chiang Mai province called off a symbolic anti-coup “lunch talk” after soldiers were deployed at their university this morning.
The students previously posted an announcement on the social media inviting members of the public to have lunch with them and discuss the political situation in post-coup Thailand in front of Faculty of Laws building at Chiang Mai University.
Earlier this week Anti-coup graffiti with messages and symbols were found painted near Chiang Rai’s Meng Rai Maharaj army base that the interior minister was scheduled to visit.
A poster was also found in front of Mae Fah Laung University with sarcastic remarks about the three-finger salute ban.