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     Official Statement from Mahidol University

 

The House of Representatives of Thailand has recently approved a draft of the Amnesty for Those Who Have Committed Offenses as a Result of the Political Protests and Political Expression B.E.... (Amnesty Bill). Parts of Section 3 state, " ... including all actions of persons or people that are related to political protests, political expression, political conflict, or those accused of being wrongdoers by the group of persons or entity formed after the coup of September 19, 2006 including entities or agencies who undertook [actions] as a result of what happened between 2004 until August 8, 2013 whether the person undertaking actions did so as a principal, supporter, someone who took action [on behalf of others] or someone who [ordered] others to take action, if those actions were unlawful [this Act] makes those actions to be free of wrongdoing and responsibility in full"*. The draft, as written, will not only exempt wrong doings from political acts, but also will reverse the due process conviction of corruption cases and will disrupt ongoing trials of related unlawful activities.

Mahidol University sees the Amnesty Bill, as it stands, to be establishing the wrong standard for Thai society because it encourages a false impression that corruption is simply a minor offense that can be easily pardoned. This erroneous attitude will profoundly hinder efforts to combat corruption in Thai society. It will also establish a dangerous precedent that will disrupt the criminal justice system.

An important mission of Mahidol University is to create new generations of graduates who are not only competent in their chosen professions, but also have strong conscience towards social responsibility. The university inculcates values that encourage a transformation of its students to become change agents who will have positive impacts on Thai society. This draft of the Amnesty Bill directly contradicts the values and principles of good governance that guide all university activities especially in nurturing the ethical conscience among our students and personnel. In particular, Mahidol University has declared this to be the year of advocacy for the adherence to virtues and moral principles and has organized the "Thai Students Do Not Cheat" campaign with the Council of University Presidents of Thailand.

Mahidol University declare opposition to this draft of the Amnesty Bill in order to shepherd the virtues and moral conduct in Thai society. Thus, the university requests that the Senate to exercise its wisdom (constitutional power) to resolve this crisis by reject the current draft of the Amnesty Bill. The university pleads for all sides to use sati (mindfulness) to overcome problems and resolve conflicts peacefully. Finally, Mahidol University is committed to ensure the lawful freedom of expression for our students and personnel.

* Source: http://asiancorrespondent.com/115153/revised-amnesty-bill-passes-the-house-what-are-its-contents/

 

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