Medical workers told to avoid insulting words on stage

national January 16, 2014 00:00

By Pongphon Sarnsamak
The Nation

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MEDICAL workers who have joined the anti-government protest are being warned not to use rude words to insult their rivals as it can be construed as a violation of human rights, the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) said yesterday.

NHRC member Dr Niran Pitakwatchara said medical personnel appearing on stage should use polite or neutral words to express their political opinions and provide factual information about the government policies.
“No matter if it is a man or a woman, nobody should be insulted by bad words or rudeness as it is an abuse of human rights,” he said. 
The statement came after Asst Prof Dr Prasert Wasinanukorn of Prince of Songkla University’s Faculty of Medicine used impolite words when referring to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday. Prasert, who won the Anusorn Songklanagrind Award as outstanding lecturer in 2012, was speaking at a People’s Democratic Reform Committee rally stage. 
Medical Council of Thailand president Dr Somsak Lohlekha also said that though Prasert’s speech was not related to the medical service, he should not be using abusive language against other people as it damages the image of other physicians. 
“Of course, doctors have the right to express their political stance like other people, but it is not appropriate for them to use bad language to insult others,” he said. 
Dr Sutham Pinchareon, a Faculty of Medicine dean at the Prince of Songkla University, meanwhile, said he did not wish to make a comment on Dr Prasert’s behaviour. 
However, Sunee Chaiyarot, a member of Law Reform Commission of Thailand, posted a message on Facebook decrying Dr Prasert’s comments, saying it was verbal violence against women. 
“This is a violent insult against women. The protesters must caution each other to not use verbal violence,” she said.
Sakee Pitakkhumphol from |the Prince of Songkla University’s Peace Studies, also said on Face-book that Prasert’s speeches on the PDRC stage had demonised Yingluck. “I am not protecting her, but I cannot accept this behaviour as it violates the dignity of women,” he said. 
Caretaker Public Health Minister Pradith Sinthawanarong also said on Facebook that he was very sad to hear that some medical workers had used insults against the premier.