The Flying Sporran’s occasional education column

September 19 2012

These are the moments a British agriculturalist’s car was attacked as he was driving to court in his battle against the boss of Thailand’s Innovation Agency – caught on CCTV as his car was stuck in a traffic gridlock.

A motorcycle approaches at speed and the pillion passenger dismounts then humps a rock through his rear window.

The victim Welsh agriculturalist Wyn Ellis carried on to court later somewhat shaken. Both attacks were in the Bang Khen district of Bangkok. Both attacks happened on days he went to court.

The video shows still from the first attack and CCTV from the second attack on his way to Dusit court, and although there is no link to the case he was fighting last year with NIA boss Supachai Lorlowhakarn, Mr.Ellis insists he had no other ongoing battles.

Chulalongkorn University in June revoked the PHD Degree of Supachai Lorlowhakarn, which it ruled was plagarised, and in August a Bangkokcourt convicted him of criminal forgery.

Both allegations were made by Wyn Ellis an expert or organic agriculture.

But the battle is apparently far from over. It rarely is in Thailand.
Supachai Lorlowhakarn
Allegations are now being made that Lorlowhakarn, who remains the boss of Thailand’s Innovation Agency also lied about his original degree.

While he claimed on his online CV that he had a Bachelor Degree in Science from Chulalongkorn University, records appear to show that he actually graduated from the University’s Faculty of Education with a Bachelor of Education teaching degree.

Questions have also been asked as whether he has or has not been a ‘Special Lecturer’ at Chulalongkorn’s Energy Research Unit, or in 2002 an advisor to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology at a time when he was allegedly a junior librarian.

I understand the National Anti-Corruption Commission are studying a complaint that NIA, or government money, was used to defend Mr. Lorlowhakarn on his criminal forgery case.

Meanwhile the Thai Journal of Agricultural Science has refused to retract a disputed paper based on the plagiarised thesis.

About asparagus!

Now Wageningen Academic Publishers, the Dutch owners of the publishing rights of a paper, much of which is about organic asparagus, have renewed their demand in a recent letter to its editor, Prof Irb Kheoruenromne, with copies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Embassy.

 Wyn Ellis said today: “At least one member of the TJAS Editorial Board has resigned over TJAS’ handling of this matter. Now that the journal has the court verdicts it asked for, I call upon TJAS’ editor to honour his commitments and retract the paper immediately.  His action will help demonstrate that Thailand’s scientific community will not tolerate academic fraud.”

Wyn Ellis

Not surprisingly Ellis refused point blank to comment about the new allegations above and I should state, nay stress,  that at this stage these are allegations only and not proven.

Supachai is appealing both his conviction and the decision by Chulalongkorn to revoke his PhD degree.

But Ellis’ silence is not surprising. He is now presumably travelling to work suited in Kevlar and with full helmet and possibly out-riders as well.

Let’s hope this does not become the gear of choice for foreign academics in Thailand.

“I loved that car”

Mr. Ellis does however say:

 “I do not drive that car anymore and I park it a long way from my home.

“Its a pity because I loved that car.  Nobody found the culprits and I am guessing that the rock (in the stills from first attack) which once had pride of place in the local police station has been dumped out the back”.

Personally I am hopping off to the CSD to get my full S.W.A.T gear.


NIA boss was ‘criminal forger’

Hounded British academic victor as university rules director of NIA breached academic ethics

Escape from Thailand – by Erika Fry

British ‘Higher Education’ asks ‘What is happening in Thailand?’

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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