A transgendered student who protested against the rector’s alleged ties to anti-government protesters has been targeted by her peers for expulsion.
Over 3,000 Thammasat Students have signed a petition requesting the school expel Saran Chuichai, who recently attempted to replace the Thai national flag with a black flag at the university’s Rangsit campus after she accused Thammasat Rector Somkid Lertpaithoon of siding with anti-government protesters.
The act led to a one-year suspension for Saran, which was appealed by the student’s guardian. Thammasat University responded to the case by setting up a student committee to determine Saran’s punishment.
The student court might do Saran more harm than good since many of her classmates are unhappy with her statements and behavior.
It’s not the first time she’s grabbed attention with her provocative behavior. Previously, Saran ran a racy anti-uniform propaganda, reportedly verbally abused teachers, and appeared on university grounds in a bikini. Such behavior has been greatly scolded by many netizens for showing a lack of respect, especially the transgendered community, who claims Saran has harmed the public’s acceptance of ladyboys.
However, Saran does not seem to mind the petition and hate mail, as she is committed to exercising her right to expression, and asserts that the university′s constitution does not allow an expulsion of students in this manner.
Saran claims, if the committee’s final word is her suspension, it would represent no less than Thammasat′s retreat from its ideals as a democratic and liberal bastion.
“It would mean we have no basic rights,” Saran said. “We were just expressing our disagreement with the Rector.”