ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
Photo from Netiwit’s Facebook.
A Chulalongkorn University vice rector has denied that freshmen were forced to kowtow in front of the monument of King Rama V and VI in a traditional oath taking ceremony on Thursday during heavy rains.
Assoc Prof Bancha Chalapirom issued a statement following reports that a member of the Chulalongkorn Student Council was assaulted by a lecturer after he allegedly showed disrespect to the tradition by abruptly walking out along with CU Student Council President Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal.
Pictures were widely shared on Facebook showing a lecturer grabbing a student and dragging him out while Netiwit and other CU Student Council members were leaving the ceremony.
Bancha said the incident happened because a group of students did not honour an agreement with the university that those who disagree with the tradition would pay respect to the monument by simply standing and bowing their heads.
Bancha said the student group tried to make a scene for the media to take pictures. This prompted the lecturer to become angry and lose his temper.
The lecturer later suffered form hyperventilation and was admitted to the Chulalongkorn Hosptial, Bancha added.
At the Thursday night ceremony, freshmen sat on the ground in front of the monument and raised their hands in an ancient tradition to pay respect to the King.
Netiwit and other members of the student council were invited to take part in the ceremony. Netiwit has repeatedly expressed his opposition to the tradition of paying respect to the monument with student kowtowing, saying King Rama V himself abolished the tradition.
Bancha said in the statement that the university recognised the different opinions of some students so they were allowed to stand in a separate group and were allowed to carry out their own ceremony later.
In a Facebook response, however, Netiwit said the vice rector did not tell the whole truth.
Netiwit said Bancha had agreed with the student council that if it rained, the ceremony would be cancelled to protect the students and the students would be allowed to stand up and simply bow to the monument.
Netiwit said it rained hard but the ceremony was not cancelled and some of them were given plastic raincoats instead.
He said his group decided to walk out after seeing that the lecturers failed to honour the agreement but one of his friends was attacked by the lecturer.