Universities feel pressure of junta's rule

Thailand's military government has stifled public dissent since seizing power in 2014, and now the country's universities say the junta's impact is being felt on campus, writes Ron Corben for Voice of America.

According to a recent report by New York-based Human Rights Watch, since 2014 more than 750 people have been summoned to report to the military for ‘reconciliation talks’ in which high profile politicians, activists and journalists have faced accusations of criticising or opposing military rule. Professors at the country's most elite universities have not been spared. Local activist network, the Internet Dialogue on Law Reform, says at least 65 of the detainees were lecturers and university professors called in for ‘attitude adjustment sessions’.

Academics, especially those teaching liberal arts subjects such as politics, say they are in the spotlight of the military government’s curbs on political debate and human rights. According to
Titipol Phakdeewanich, a political science lecturer at Ubon Ratchathani University in the country's northeast – a stronghold of ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra – the army has been a regular presence in classrooms and seminars, including events involving international organisations.
Full report on the Voice of America site