Saturday, October 27, 2007

Prachatai: Giles lashes fellow academics in Chula’s Political Science Faculty: ‘Corrupt and disgusting’

Giles Ungpakorn has condemned his colleagues at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Political Science for serving dictatorship and being corrupt.

The outspoken leftist academic and anti-coup activist yesterday publicly lambasted the executives and other lecturers of his faculty for committing ‘policy corruption' by spending 42.6 million baht of taxpayers' money on a research project on democracy.

He said the executives and nearly all the lecturers in the faculty were staunch critics of the previous Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his policy corruption and vested interests, and they supported the Sept 19 coup last year. After the coup, they have become advisors to the junta and the junta-installed government. Some of them helped draft the junta's charter, and some are still members of the National Legislative Assembly.

These academics have turned a blind eye to the ban on sales of anti-coup books in the university's bookstores, including Giles' own A Coup for the Rich. And Giles has been undergoing a disciplinary investigation by the faculty for his anti-coup activities, Giles said.

The faculty's research project, Thailand Democracy Watch, has received 42.6 million baht of taxpayers' money, with the Dean of the Faculty Jaras Suwanmala as chief researcher. Jaras has led a team of Chula Political Science lecturers on overseas trips to defend the junta in universities in Australia and the UK, using taxpayers' money, Giles said.

Giles said that the researchers had claimed that Thai society's ignorance of history was to blame for the political vicious circle, which is a cycle of elections and coups d'etat. And they also blamed the poor people, who have the majority votes in general elections, of accepting corruption, seeking only immediate gains, and being irrational.


These Thai academics blame the poor for voting for corrupt politicians, yet these same academics work with the politicians and generals who do all the corrupting. You can follow up on this in another Prachatai article Democracy for Sale.

Further, what is striking is that these academics who blame the poor for destroying democracy are the same academics who support military coups.

I guess logic, integrity and intellectual consistency don't exist in the Thai academy.

I don't agree with Ajarn Jai's political ideology most of the time, but I support his courage and criticism.

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