High school students in Thailand are making a brave stand against the military dictatorship which took power in a coup in May and brought in martial law, which makes it illegal for people to gather in groups bigger than five.

As part of a way of consolidating their power the junta have introduced a 12 point plan for education starting with 'Love for the nation, religions and the monarchy' and including such gems as: 'Awareness in thinking and doing things, and following the guidance of His Majesty the King'.

A 17 year old school student, Nattanan Warintarawet, is secretary general of Education for Liberation of Siam (ELS), which has organised actions outside the education ministry as well as sending an open letter to the junta, calling for an end to 'the underlying philosophy of education that stresses authoritarianism and causes hindrance to the critical thinking of students'.

For her pains Nattanan and her comrades have been intimidated by the junta, probably because their protests are making waves in Thai society. The education minister said:

'We have to ask if any of the 12 values is not good. Just try to recite it. The first is love the nation and religion. The second is honesty and sacrifice. From 1-12, these values are flawless. If the imposition of the 12 values is wrong, we have to see if those [opposing this] are abnormal'.

The minister has put pressure on the school to try and get them to make Nattanan cease her activities. So far the school has resisted but nonetheless she feels that the school administration 'is keeping an eye on her.' However it appears that she has no intention of desisting, despite the threats from a powerful military.

The ELS has launched an online petition in support of their campaign.