Conservative Thai Royalists have begun a campaign to stop the hiring of university students who did not receive their diplomas from the royal family as per tradition.
The first graduation ceremony in Thailand was held at Chulalongkorn University in 1930. It was inaugurated by King Prajadhipok with the monarch handing out diplomas.
Since then, it has become tradition at public universities across the country to have a member of the royal family hand out diplomas at graduation ceremonies.
Due to recent activist campaigns to revoke the lese majeste law, some students have chosen to not attend the ceremonies in solidarity and because they say the cost of attending the royal ceremony is too high.
Now, royalist Thai business owners are striking back at the protesting students by saying they won’t hire any that didn’t attend their graduation ceremony.
“My friends who are business owners started to say that if the new generation comes to apply for a job, they will ask to see their mobile phones and if they did not receive their diploma, they will not be hired,” said Lalita Dhirasiri, a medical doctor who is one of the founders of the Balavi Natural Medicine Center.
“They are afraid that if they accepted them into their organisation, there might be problems so youngsters should think carefully.”
Paisal Puechmongkol, a former senator and former assistant of Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwon, wrote on Sunday that employers have the right to not hire people who refused to receive their diplomas from a royal family member.
He said this is because there is a need to initially consider whether the person who is being hired is “a human being that can work within a human society and a job that provide services to customers or not”.
“If the person is one of the stupid people who do not know what is right and wrong, the person will not be hired and that is normal,” he said.
Activist Nuttaa “Bow” Mahattana said on Saturday that business owners who announced that they will not hire people who did not attend the official ceremony are “narrow-minded” and they forgot that there are many reasons and limitations why people cannot attend such ceremonies.