Readers will have read, in disbelief, repeated statements by the military junta that make claims of “fairness” and “evenhandedness” in its handling of the referendum for the military’s draft charter.
The military dictatorship’s own actions have shown, again and again, that there is anything but fairness in the campaign, with the junta repeatedly promoting its charter and repressing all opposition, calls for debate and even pleas for the right to campaign for the right to campaign on the charter. Orwellian, to be sure. Biased for sure.
In a recent report, Khaosod has a story about the Internet Law Reform Dialogue or iLaw, which has “sued elections officials today over a state-produced TV show they say has been entirely devoted to praising the proposed constitution that will soon be put to public referendum.”
iLaw points to the Election Commission’s televised referendum program that “has so far only featured proponents of the new charter…”. iLaw declares that the EC is “guilty of violating its own draconian campaign law and overstepping its mandate as an impartial organizer of the Aug. 7 poll.” The group has petitioned the Administrative Court and wants the “show removed because it’s not neutral…”.
The EC’s biased show, “August 7, the Referendum That Binds All Hearts,” is shown on “all state-owned TV and radio stations for 30 minutes every Monday and Wednesday.”
The bias is not an accident, but part of the junta’s propaganda on its illegitimate charter.