Thaksin book still not being sold in Bangkok

7 10 2011

Nirmal Ghosh at The Straits Times has an article regarding the effective banning on Tom Plate’s new book on Thaksin – for earlier posts at PPT see here, here and here.

Ghosh says the “book of interviews with former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is still unavailable in Bangkok, despite being in bookstores in other cities in the region such as Singapore, where it is now No. 8 on the Straits Times non-fiction bestseller list.”

The major booksellers Asia Books and Kinokuniya are not stocking the book. Why?

A Kinokuniya executive says its contents might be “sensitive.” The company’s policy “was to be ‘careful’ when it came to books which were ‘sensitive’ in terms of the social and political context.” Meanwhile Asia Books  has simply “decided not to sell the book.” No reason has been given.

Ghosh notes that it “is not unusual for Thai distributors and retailers to voluntarily withhold a book or magazine if they deem its contents sensitive – even without a formal ban order.” He writes of the copies of The Economist “with articles on Thailand’s monarchy did not reach the market although they were not officially banned.”

He observes that:

The book has appeared in the midst of this tension-laden environment, and touches on the circumstances around the 2006 coup and Thaksin’s apparently bad relationship with the powerful Privy Council – the King’s advisers.

He “declared war” on General Prem Tinsulanonda, Privy Council president and a former prime minister, the book says.

The ageing former general, now 91 – a mentor to generations of elite army officers – is seen as having been behind the coup.

This kind of informal ban by the wealthy proprietors of large bookshops is reprehensible. However, PPT knows that a Thai version will come out soon, and it is unlikely that distribution can be easily stopped. The English version is probably no. 8 on the best seller list because of copies going to Bangkok. Photocopiers and scanners will be at work too.


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1 04 2012
Thaksin book now in Thai « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] reader says that Kinokuniya and Asia Books are still refusing to carry the original English language version. The Thai version has apparently been put out with Matichon and was introduced at the Bangkok Book […]