A website set up by academics in northern Thailand has been shut down after staging “a high-profile protest against the draft interim constitution,” Bangkok’s The Nation is reporting. The website, Midnight University has provided an important and popular forum for Thais to discuss the virtues and risks they saw in a recent coup that ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Somkiat Tangnamo, the webmaster and “rector” of Midnight University, said the shutdown of the website on Friday night led to the loss of 1,500 scholarly articles provided for free public education. “This particular action is a threat against academic freedom, a threat against press freedom, and a threat against an important public sphere. It in effect removed the public sphere from the society, which is unacceptable and cannot be justified,” The Nation quoted him as saying.