Further updated: Prachatai is (shut) down

8 04 2010

Prachatai has gone down.  Both the Thai and the English sites are currently inaccessible.  Any PPT readers with news of events in Thailand, please send them to thaipoliticalprisoners@gmail.com

Update 1: Ji Ungpakorn writes: “Prachatai, the only independent web-based newspaper in Thailand has been closed down by the military-backed government. The government has also sent soldiers to close down the Red Shirt TV station and various community radio stations. The aim is to shut down all free media and blanket the country in darkness.”

A reader comments: “It isn’t just Prachatai- it’s People Channel, all live internet streams from the protest, and every single pro-Red community radio station in Bangkok. The UDD is considering marching against ASTV (which is, of course, still on the air.) Meanwhile, expat forums seem stacked with people calling for the Red troublemakers/buffaloes/Thugsin goons/insurgents/paid protesters to be arrested or shot. Many of these people claim to have been progressive voters back home. I never witnessed such an orgy of hatred and bloodlust before, and I don’t understand it, especially when it’s coming out of the minds of people who could go back to their free speech, free media and fair/free elections whenever they want.”

Another reader adds: “Prachatai is currently blocked by the government. Here is screen capture taken today at 4pm.”

Update 2: The Bangkok Post’s Veera Prateepchaikul somewhat gleefully states: “The blackout imposed on the red-shirt People Channel TV station following the declaration of the state of emergency is the government’s first real move against the anti-government movement.  Tougher action is likely to follow to put pressure on the protesters to either disperse or to return to the negotiating table.  The government accuses the channel of spreading lies and misinformation and of inciting public hatred against the government and the elite amataya ruling clique.  Controlling the media and censoring information is one of the several actions authorised under the state of emergency rule. Other possible actions include a ban on public gatherings of more than five people, curfews and preventing people joining the red-shirt rallies – and detaining people for up to 30 days without a court warrant.”

The Nation reports that PM’s Office and chief of media censorship Sathit Wongnongtoey “confirmed a complete shut-down of PTV broadcast as of this morning following a night-long attempt to black the satallite uplink.  PTV used more than two satellites for its broadcast and a number of businesses linked with ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra tried to intervene but failed to overcome the shut-down.” Ominously, Sathit “reminded Internet service providers and media outlets about risking penalties under emergency rule if they relayed the banned broadcast.”

One response to the closing of PTV seems to be an upsurge of provincial red shirt rallying.



4 responses

8 04 2010
Role of Thai MSM in social unrest; govt curbs alternative media « Media War

[…] Apr 8.   PTT reports :  Prachathai website has been shut down.  (it is true, I’ve checked it), it also mentions closure of PTV, community radios, more […]

8 04 2010
Suthep’s order to block websites « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the blocking of 36 websites (in PDF form –  Censor websites – and below as images. Prachatai seems not to be […]

8 04 2010
Massive censorship « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] emergency decree. As noted in earlier posts, the government has closed the red shirt People TV and Prachatai, along with 35 other websites. That all now looks like the tip of a censorship […]

9 04 2010
Jon Russell: Social Media In Thailand » Blog Archive » Thai Government Enforces Online Media Block

[…] government’s emergency decree. As noted in earlier posts, the government has closed the red shirt People TV (PTV) and Prachatai, along with 35 other […]

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