The media is not free

18 09 2010

Following the reported investigation of Fah Diew Kan and the earlier official prevention of printing for Somyos Prueksakasemsuk‘s Red Power magazine, seasoned media academic Ubonrat Siriyuwasak, chairwoman of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR), has been reported as damning the lack of media freedom under the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

While calling for “respect for freedom of expression,” Ubonrat recognized that different groups in Thai society “don’t enjoy equal levels of freedom…”, this report includes this observation: “Yesterday … an independent bookshop owner in Bangkok told The Nation an officer in uniform stood and stared at the Fah Diew Kan magazine for more than ten minutes without uttering a single word.” The owner of the shop said: “I feel a bit threatened. Another bookshop has already removed the magazine from its shelves.”

Ubonrat warns: “When the right to oppose is taken away, it will affect citizens’ rights in general. Freedom cannot be divided, because just like clouds [in the sky] it belongs to us all.”

Supinya Klangnarong, a former CPMR coordinator, warned that the regime’s crackdown on opposition media would make society “more regressive”.

Of course, media is just one avenue of the continuing repression that is the hallmark of the current Abhisit regime.



One response

25 09 2010

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