Students in push to save sacred shrine

Students in push to save sacred shrine

Students of Chulalongkorn University are rallying to save an old shrine from being razed by their school's property office who want to make way for a profit-generating dormitory.

The students created the #SaveChaoMaeThapThimShrine hashtag in Thai to promote their cause on social media.

About two dozen students formed a human chain at the Chao Mae Thap Thim Shrine and rallied in front of the university's property management office to protest the plan to dismantle the symbolic goddess statue.

"Do not demolish the Chao Mae Thap Thim shrine," read a banner the protestors placed outside of the university office. "Our heritage is united with our spirit."

The property management arm is responsible for generating revenue from the university's 385-rai plot of land, an area in the heart of the capital, stretching from Siam Square to the Suan Luang and Samyan areas.

"Maximise value for society," the office proclaimed on its website, adding its work focuses on "harmonious coexistence" in the development of the local community.

The students have argued that the decision to flatten the shrine, which is located near the Samyan market and build a dormitory for students and university personnel goes against the principles mentioned on the office's official website.

Under the plan, buildings around the shrine would be razed, while the shrine would be relocated to the university's Centennial Park nearby.

The new location for the shrine would "be suitable in all aspects, from safety and cleanliness to parking space and accessibility", the office said.

Opponents of the plan have argued the office has concentrated on making money while ignoring history and the bond between the local community and the goddess of the shrine.

"The new generation of students wants to protect history [and prevent the shrine's demolition] for the construction of a condo," student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal tweeted.

The shrine is cherished by locals of the Saphan Lueang community. The shrine was built in 1970 after the statue was moved from another site.

Do you like the content of this article?

US averts government shutdown one day ahead of deadline

WASHINGTON: The US Congress approved a stopgap funding bill Thursday in a rare show of cross-party unity to keep federal agencies running into 2022 and avert a costly holiday season government shutdown.


US adopts rule that could see Chinese firms leave Wall Street

WASHINGTON: US market regulators on Thursday announced the adoption of a rule allowing them to delist foreign companies from Wall Street exchanges if they fail to provide information to auditors, which is aimed primarily at Chinese firms.


Ronaldo's 800th career goal begins Man Utd revival as Carrick walks away

MANCHESTER: Michael Carrick exited Manchester United with a win as Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed 800 goals for club and country with a double to see off Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday.