Temple Fests > Uni Tests, Pheu Thai Staffer Scolds Students

An ordination ceremony May 2017 in Chaiyaphum province.
An ordination ceremony May 2017 in Chaiyaphum province.

PATHUM THANI — When drunk revelers stormed a school last week for asking them to turn down their ordination ceremony, it united the public against them. That happened again Wednesday when a campaign staffer ridiculed another group of students pleading for quiet.

A Pheu Thai Party member in northern metro Bangkok was forced to apologize days before the election for a nasty attack on university students unhappy about days of extremely loud music coming as they prepared for exams season.

“Who’s got a problem? PM me you motherfuckers. Don’t just bark from your dorms, assholes. Come talk to me face to face if you dare, kiddos. Don’t use exams as your excuse, fuckers!” Chanwut Puangrat wrote in reply to a student’s online complaint.

The students said that like last month’s incident, the noise came from a novice monk’s ordination ceremony.

“Say it if you’ve got problems. I’m a Chiang Rak local. Don’t you be so brash when you were born later. Know your place!” Chanwut wrote in another comment, referring to a street behind the campus where teen scooter gangs hold illegal street races.

Chanwut, it turned out, is on the team of Supachai Nopkhum, Pheu Thai’s candidate for Pathum Thani’s second electoral district. That led to searing criticism from voters who said they’d cast their ballots for someone else.

The students said they were preparing for exams this week and next, and that the music had been blasting dawn-to-dusk from a nearby temple behind the campus for days. They said it was so loud they could clearly hear every word in the lyrics, even from inside their dorm rooms.

After one student’s post with several equally unhappy comments went viral, several people including Chanwut rushed in to attack the students, many with crude language, and defend the ruckus.

“Don’t be so dramatic. Temples have been playing music like this for a long time,” user Ek Satrupai wrote. “Don’t forget that dorms and universities came after temples.”

“Move away if you can’t stand it. Ordination is to make merit for our parents. What do you faggots know about that? Have you ever thought about ordaining to pay your parents back?” user Kraingkrai Duangsanchao wrote.

The incident came just over a week after a group of men participating an ordination ceremony stormed a Bangkok temple school and assaulted students, teachers and guards. They were provoked by a request to be quiet because the campus was hosting university admission tests.

The public was incensed by the incident; dozens of suspects were arrested.

On Twitter, #SaveChiangRak shot to the top trending Thai hashtag overnight and remained No.4 as of Wednesday afternoon, with many comments from frustrated and amused students.

“Guys, if they invade Thammasat like they did with Wat Sing, I can only say they’ll be so exhausted. Which faculty or which dorm will they go to? Will they be confused with the directions? I’m so worried. Be careful of the monitor lizards too,” user @Booklormoon tweeted, referring to the vast campus.

“Okay bitch, I’m not disappointed to get to study at Thammasat. Our seniors fought in political conflicts. We fight teen moto gangsters,” user @Lordoftherad wrote.

Chanwut apologized Wednesday after receiving a major backlash for his comments.

“I’m sincerely sorry for using such harsh words with all the students. Please don’t put this on others, including the Pheu Thai Party and the candidate. They had nothing to do with this. Everything is my fault. I’m very sorry, from the bottom of my heart,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Neither Supachai nor Pheu Thai has made a statement regarding the matter.