Chula bans second coup book
Chulalongkorn University Book Centre (CU Book Centre) has banned "A Coup for the Rich", written by a political scientist at Chulalongkorn University.
Assoc Professor Giles Ungpakorn yesterday accused CU Books of going back on its promise to sell his book titled "A Coup for the Rich: Thailand's Political Crisis", an academic work.
Giles said the bookshop's purchasing department had agreed to sell his book and already had 500 copies in stock. "When asked [yesterday] why there were no copies for sale, I was told the management are reconsidering the sale of this book," he said.
CU Book Centre manager Uraiwan Kornwitthayasin denied they had promised to sell the book. She said it was a sensitive issue as Giles had quoted from Paul Handley's book "The King Never Smiles". "We needed other academics and experts to read the book and we are waiting for their opinions," she said.
Giles defended his book saying it was a collection of his academic work that had been presented at international academic forums on Thai Studies in Northern Illinois and Singapore.
The book contains four chapters: The Thaksin Crisis and the Coup for the Rich; Inventing Ancient Thai Traditions: an analysis of the Monarchy; The politics of the Peoples Movement and the "October People", and Southern Woes: Why the Thai state is responsible for the violence in the South and problems of the tsunami.
Meanwhile, the CU Book Centre has decided to overturn its ban on, "The September 19th coup: a coup for a democratic regime under the constitutional monarchy", an anthology critical of the coup, written by leading academics and intellectuals.
The bookstore manager admitted her staff wouldn't dare to sell the book published by the Fah Diew Kan Publishing earlier, because the publishing house had one of its publications confiscated by the special branch due to charges of lese majeste.
"Now customers can order the book from our bookshops," Uraiwan confirmed.
However, the publisher, Thanaphol Eawsakul, yesterday told The Nation he had received complaints from many customers that the book was nowhere to be found at Chulalongkorn Book Centre.
A group of academics at Chulalongkorn, and the 19th September Network - an anti-coup group - is organising a seminar on "Academic freedom and freedom of expression" next week at Chulalongkorn University.
Jiles's book, "A coup for the Rich", will be launched at the Bangkok Foreign Correspondents Club on March 13.