One first-year Thammasat student has caused a bit of a controversy by the way she posed with the statue of the university's founder Pridi Banomyong.
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Students gather around a statue of Thammasat University founder Pridi Banomyong at the university’s Tha Prachan campus. The students are unhappy about a picture published on the internet of a woman apparently sitting on the base of the statue in a lurid pose. THITI WANNAMONTHA
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Suggestive pose ruffles Pridi fans' feathers
A photograph of a first-year female student, clad in shorts, striking a suggestive pose with the statue of Thammasat University's founder Pridi Banomyong has sparked a debate on freedom of expression and "appropriateness".
The photo was taken on May 11, or Pridi Day, when about 3,600 first-year students visited the Pridi Banomyong Memorial Hall at the university's Tha Prachan campus.
It was uploaded on the internet by the student herself with a message: "What is love, obsession? Still, Thailand has no law to protect Pridi against defamation because we are all equal."
Pridi was also a former prime minister and senior statesman.
The photo provoked a flurry of discussions among the university's students and lecturers, some criticising the student for being irreverent while others said the young woman has the right to do what she did. The university's rector says he will look into the matter.
Chanaporn Larpananrung, a third-year liberal arts student, said all students should pay respect to the university's founder, including his statue.
"It is quite inappropriate. We are part of the university so we should respect the person who is important to our university," Ms Chanaporn said after seeing the picture.
She added that it's also the norm for young people to show deference to their elders.
Matika Sookdhis, a third-year law student, said Pridi was like a teacher so respect must be accorded to him.
She said the photo should not be linked to politics or the controversial lese majeste issue. It was just one student behaving improperly, she said.
Anun Rattanajiajaroen, another third-year law student, said the statue was intended to honour Pridi who made great contributions to not only the university, but also the country. Students should not take liberties with it.
"It's very inappropriate to act like that with his statue," he said.
However, Prab Laoharojanaphan, a fourth-year student in the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy and a member of the university's League of Liberal Thammasat for Democracy group, said striking an unusual pose with the Pridi Banomyong statue should not be considered too outrageous.
Many students over the years had probably taken photographs with the statue in some strange poses such as in a planking position or holding up two fingers behind their heads, he said.
"Personally, I think it is a normal thing to do," he said.
He added that since Pridi, who was a leader of the 1932 revolution which replaced the absolute monarchy with a constitutional one, brought democracy to Thailand, he must have been determined to create equality and liberty in society.
Mr Prab said Pridi would not want to be an object of worship that cannot be offended.
"I think what she did is not wrong, because the statue is just a statue, although she might have exaggerated her pose too much," he said.
founder – a person who establishes an institution, business, or organization ผู้ก่อตั้ง
apparently – based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly ตามที่ได้รู้มา
lurid – full of unpleasant or sexual details that are meant to shock or interest people น่าขนลุก
pose – staying in a particular position in order to be photographed วางท่าถ่ายรูป
suggestive – making people think about sex เป็นนัยถึงเรื่องทะลึ่ง, ซึ่งชวนให้นึกถึงเรื่องอนาจาร
ruffle feathers – to annoy or upset somebody or a group of people ทำให้อารมณ์เสีย, รบกวน
clad – dressed or covered สวมใส่
spark – to make something happen, especially something bad ก่อให้เกิด
freedom of expression – the freedom to publicly say or do what you want (within limits of the law) เสรีภาพในการพูดหรือการแสดงออก
appropriateness – whether something is suitable or right for a particular situation or occasion ความเหมาะสม, ความสมควร
obsession – the state in which a person's mind is completely filled with thoughts of one particular thing or person in a way that is not normal การครอบงำจิตใจ, ความหลงใหล
defamation – the offence of writing or saying something bad about someone that is not true and makes people have a bad opinion of them การใส่ร้าย
equal – having the same rights or being treated the same as other people, without differences such as race, religion or sex being considered เท่าเทียมกัน
senior – with a high rank or position อาวุโส
statesman – an experienced political leader that many people respect รัฐบุรุษ
provoke – to cause a reaction ก่อให้เกิด
flurry – a series of things that happen suddenly ช่วงแห่งความตื่นเต้นหรือความโกลาหลที่เกิดขึ้นในเวลาอันสั้น
irreverent – not showing respect to somebody/something that other people usually respect ไม่เคารพ,ไม่เลื่อมใส
rector – the person in charge in some universities, schools, colleges and universities อธิการบดี
matter – a situation or subject which is being dealt with or considered เรื่อง, ภารกิจ, งาน
liberal arts – subjects of study that develop students' general knowledge and ability to think, rather than their technical skills ศิลปศาสตร์
pay respect to – to show deep admiration for someone แสดงความเคารพ
inappropriate – unsuitable ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม
norm – a situation or type of behavior that is expected and considered to be typical มาตรฐาน
deference – behaviour that shows that you respect somebody/something การแสดงความเคารพนับถือ
elders – people who are older คนที่อายุมากกว่า, คนที่เป็นผู้ใหญ่กว่า
accord – to give somebody/something authority, status or a particular type of treatment ให้
linked – connected เชื่อมต่อ เชื่อมโยง
controversial – causing disagreement ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
lese majeste – the crime of offending, threatening or showing disrespect for a member of the royal family หมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ
issue – a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
honour – to do something that shows great respect for somebody/something เคารพ,นับถือ, ยกย่อง
contribution – something that you do that helps to achieve something or to make it successful ผลงาน,การช่วยเหลือ
take liberties – to use inappropriately; to make important and unreasonable changes to something ใช้บางคนหรือบางสิ่งในทางที่ผิด
league – a group of people or nations who have combined for a particular purpose สหพันธ์
outrageous – very shocking and unacceptable ซึ่งฝ่าฝืน, ซึ่งทำให้เจ็บแค้นใจ
planking – liying flat with your face with your hands at your sides, often done and photographed in unusual locations
normal – typical, usual or ordinary; what you would expect ปกติ
revolution – a situation when people completely change their political system or government, usually by force การปฏิรูป
replace – to change from one thing to another แทน
absolute monarchy – a system in which a king or queen has unlimited powers ระบอบสมบูรณาญาสิทธิราช
constitutional monarchy – a system in which a country is governed by a king or queen whose are limited to those given under the constitution and laws of the country ระบอบประชาธิปไตยที่มีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข
determined – wanting to do something very much and not letting anyone or any difficulties stop you ตั้งใจจริง, ซึ่งมุ่งมั่น
object of worship – something that is worshipped สิ่งที่เคารพบูชา
offended – upset because of something said that is rude or embarrassing ขุ่นเคือง
exaggerate – to describe something in a way that makes it seem better, worse, larger, more important etc than it really is กล่าวเกินจริง
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