Uni deans say decree 'unlawful'

Uni deans say decree 'unlawful'

Anti-government protesters gather at Victory Monument. (Photo: Pattarapong Hirunard)
Anti-government protesters gather at Victory Monument. (Photo: Pattarapong Hirunard)

Deans of four leading universities on Wednesday urged the House of Representatives to use a parliamentary mechanism to resolve the current political crisis and the government to lift the state of emergency.

The deans were Asst Prof Munin Pongsapan, of Thammasat University; Asst Prof Pareena Srivanit, of Chulalongkorn University; Asst Prof Pornchai Wisuttisak, of Chiang Mai University; and Sutthichai Ngamchuensuwan, of Prince of Songkla University.

They signed a joint open letter which was submitted on Wednesday to House Speaker Chuan Leekpai.

The four deans said in the petition that the state of emergency needs to be revoked because it was unconstitutional and unlawful.

The deans also called on the court to ensure justice in its rulings in cases linked with the political crisis, to protect the rights and freedom of members of the public.

Asst Prof Munin said parliament was hoped to be a key mechanism to defuse the political crisis, in which all sides will be able to discuss ways to solve the problem.

As for the state of emergency, he said, he saw no reason for the government to use the law to deal with protesters as all recent protests had been peaceful.

In another development, six students from Chulalongkorn and Thammasat Universities, along with a human rights lawyer, filed with the Civil Court a lawsuit against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, his deputy Prawit Wongsuwon and national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk, accusing them of unlawfully issuing and enforcing the state of emergency.

The students also called for an urgent hearing on their associated request for the court to nullify Gen Prayut’s order to invoke the state of emergency.

The students said the state of emergency was enforced unlawfully, pinpointing the use of water cannons to disperse a rally in Bangkok last Friday night.

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