Updated: Confused on censorship

14 11 2014

Recent reports suggest that the military dictatorship is confused and intellectually challenged by its own policies and practices.

We make this judgement after reading a report at Prachatai that quotes Lt Gen Suchai Pongput, Secretary-General of the military junta’s committee to monitor media:Censorship

Gen Prayut Chan-ocha, the Prime Minister and NCPO leader, has never censored the media. We are open, but please stay within the limits. [We] don’t want any colour. [You media] must report news positively. Sometimes, headlines lead to discomfort. Please don’t make them too harsh, although I understand that [headlines] are the highlights, but please soften them. I’d like to ask for the cooperation of columnists too. You editors please remind them for me….

This statement was made by the junta’s representative when he “threatened editors with prosecution if they cross the line, ironically saying repeatedly that the junta never limits media freedom.”

The confusion continues in another report at Prachatai, where it is reported that Thai PBS has (military) booted out “the host of a programme which allowed people to voice opinions on the [military] junta’s reform plans…”.

The boot seems to have come from “junta representatives [who] met with the channel’s executives…”. It is reported that “five high ranking military officers” marched in to see “the channel’s executives at the TV station’s headquarters.”

Those military censors stated that their bosses wanted:

PBS to stop broadcasting ‘Voices of the People that must be heard before the Reform’ because they were upset with how Nattaya Wawweerakhup, the programme host, asked questions of villagers and activists, some of which allegedly touched on the coup d’état.

OrwellThe weak-kneed Thai PBS executives quickly removed Nattaya and “changed the programme from talks with villagers and activists to merely reporting news from the area.”

Clearly, when the military dictatorship says it does not censor they are confused and really mean to say that they censor everything that irks them.

Did we say confused? Actually the Orwellian doublespeak is just military lies.

Update: ThaiPBS reports that the Human Rights Lawyers Association issued a statement saying the military’s pressuring of PBS “is a breach of the media freedom, and rights to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority.”



One response

16 11 2014
Reacting to incorrect views | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] day or so ago, PPT posted on a military threat to ThaiPBS over a program that the military found just too challenging. According to a new report in Khaosod, the program […]

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