There are two sides to the story of the land dispute between Chulalongkorn University and the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology.
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A student's mask states the case for disputing Chulalongkorn's claim to the Uthenthawai campus. Photo by Patipat Janthong
Chula vs Uthenthawai: Two sides to the story
There are two sides to the story of the land dispute between Chulalongkorn University and the Uthenthawai campus of Rajamangala University of Technology. The Bangkok Post's Lamphai Intathep talked to the rectors of both universities. Here are excerpts . You can read the full story here: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/341036/clashing-on-historic-grounds
Uthenthawai: We've been here since 1913
Suebpong Muangchoo Acting rector, Rajamangala University of Technology
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We strongly insist the 20-rai plot of land occupied by our Uthenthawai campus did not originally belong to Chulalongkorn University (CU). Back in 1913, Poh Chang School was established by a royal initiative of King Rama V on land donated by King Rama VI.
It later became Uthenthawai, the country’s first vocational training school.
We can say that the land on which CU and Uthenthawai are located was a royal inheritance for the two institutions.
But in 1939, the cabinet adopted a resolution stating that all of the land belonged to CU.
It is unfair to have land ownership change hands due to a legal move from 1939 when we have been here for almost 100 years.
Uthenthawai was unable to take part in any part of the process by which the committee set up by the Office of the Attorney-General settled the long-standing ownership dispute with CU.
We met Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanchana last week to show historical evidence that the donated land formerly belonged to Uthenthawai.
I am ready for trilateral talks with the ministry and CU. We are both state education institutions and we should not quarrel. We should talk to find a win-win solution.
We are willing to pay rent to the Crown Property Bureau, not CU, for the use of the land while we are sorting out this conflict.
dispute – to say that something such as a fact is not true or correct โต้แย้ง
claim – saying that you have the right to have or own something, especially land or property การอ้างสิทธิ
campus – the buildings of a university or college and the land around them พื้นที่ที่เป็นที่ตั้งของมหาวิทยาลัย
dispute – a serious disagreement การโต้เถียง, ความขัดแย้ง
rector – the person in charge in some universities, schools, colleges and universities อธิการบดี
excerpt – a part of a longer story, speech, song, text, etc. บทคัดย่อ
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
occupy – to work or live on a piece of land อาศัยอยู่ใน, ครอบครอง
originally – the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม
establish – to start a company or organization that will likely continue for a long time สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง
initiative – a new action or movement ความคิดริเริ่ม
donate – to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a temple, charity, school, political party, etc. บริจาค
vocational – teaching the skills necessary for particular jobs การสอนวิชาชีพ
inheritance – money or objects that someone gives you when they die มรดก
cabinet – the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy คณะรัฐมนตรี
adopt – to accept or to start using something new นำมาใช้
resolution – an official decision that is made after a group or organisation have voted มติ
due to – because of เนื่องจาก
legal – relating to the law เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
Attorney-General – the top legal officer in some countries, who advises the leader of the government อัยการสูงสุด
settle – to end a dispute or disagreement แก้ปัญหา, จัดการ
long-standing – that has existed or lasted for a long time นาน,ยาวนาน
evidence – facts, signs or objects that make you believe that something is true หลักฐาน,ข้อแสดง
trilateral – involving three groups of people or three countries ไตรภาคี; ซึ่งมีสามด้าน
state – government รัฐบาล
quarrel – to argue or disagree noisily with someone โต้เถียง
rent – paying money for the use of something for a period of time ค่าเช่า
Crown Property Bureau – a Thai government agency responsible for managing the personal wealth of the King of Thailand and his immediate family สำนักงานทรัพย์สินส่วนพระมหากษัตริย์
sort out – to deal satisfactorily or successfully with a problem, a situation, or a person who is having difficulties จักการ แก้ปัญหา
conflict – an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
Chulalongkorn: The law is on our side
Pirom Kamolratanakul Rector of Chulalongkorn University
The historical issue is very sensitive and all sides have some historical rationale that allows them to claim the rights to the land.
So a third party must step in. A committee was set up by the Office of the Attorney-General in 2007 to settle the dispute between both universities. It has the final say in the dispute as it comprises several high-ranking authorities. These include the Justice Minister as chairman, the permanent secretaries for justice and finance and the secretary-general of the Council of State (the government’s legal adviser).
The panel considered the dispute carefully and thoroughly for almost two years, scrutinising historical evidence before ruling the land belongs to CU.
Furthermore, the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, which was asked by Uthenthawai to help settle the matter, also upheld the committee’s resolution that CU owns the land legally.
Moreover, CU also had evidence showing it had leased that plot of land to Uthenthawai for 68 years between 1935 and 2003.
CU first asked for the return of the land in 1975. The cabinet agreed at the time to have Uthenthawai relocated to a new site in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district. It also approved a 200-million-baht budget for relocation and construction costs for Uthenthawai.
In 2004, Uthenthawai agreed to relocate by Sept 30, 2005, extendable by no more than one year. But no progress has been made since.
The committee asked Uthenthawai to pay compensation worth 1.1 billion baht to CU on Oct 1, 2006, but we have not received anything.
We really sympathise with Uthenthawai’s situation and do not want to force it to move out. We realise that it is unable to relocate without any help.
issue – a problem that needs to be considered ประเด็น
sensitive – needed to be dealt with very carefully to not cause anger or offence ที่ละเอียดอ่อน
rationale – the set of reasons that something such as a plan or belief is based on คำชี้แจงเหตุผล, พื้นฐานของเหตุผล
third party – a person or group who is involved in a situation in addition to the two main people or groups involved บุคคลภายนอก
comprise – to consist or be made up of two or more things ประกอบด้วย
high-ranking – senior; important ที่มียศสูง, ที่อยู่ชั้นสูง
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
permanent secretary – a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry ปลัดกระทรวง
Council of State – an official organisation that advises the government on proposed laws and other legal matters คณะกรรมการกฤษฎีกาและสำนักงานคณะกรรมการกฤษฎีกา
panel – a group of people who make decisions or judgments คณะกรรมการ
consider – to give careful thought to something before making a decision พิจารณา
thorough – detailed and careful ละเอียดถี่ถ้วน
scrutinise – to look at or examine somebody/something carefully พินิจพิเคราะห์, พิจารณา, ตรวจสอบ
furthermore – in addition; more importantly นอกจากนี้, ยิ่งกว่านี้, มากไปกว่านี้
Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary – a royal agency which is responsible for the Royal Family’s secretarial affairs สำนักราชเลขาธิการ
uphold – to say that a decision by a lower court or a government agency is correct พิพากษายืนตามคำตัดสินหรือวินิจฉัยของศาลชั้นต้น
lease – to make a legal agreement in which allow someone to pay you money in order to use a building, piece of land, vehicle, etc. for a period of time ให้เช่า
plot – a piece of land used for a particular purpose ที่ดินแปลงเล็ก
relocate – to move something to a new place ย้ายที่ใหม่
site – a place where something is located สถานที่
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
extend – to add more time ยืดออกไป
progress – the process of developing or of getting nearer to achieving or completing something ความคืบหน้า
compensation – money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them เงินชดเชย
sympathise – to feel sorry for somebody; to show that you understand and feel sorry about somebody's problems เห็นใจ, เห็นอกเห็นใจ
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