Khaosod’s removed story

31 07 2016

This is a report that Khaosod decided to take down for fear of legal consequences. We feel it deserves to be seen. We include the link to the report that sparked the incident. If readers are unable to get to the report, it is probably because of the references to the monarchy and the inclusion of the prince’s infamous video of several years ago:

Charter Drafter Disputes Belgian Website’s Report of Possible Referendum Delay

BANGKOK — A spokesman for the Constitution Drafting Committee on Thursday said a foreign news agency got the story wrong in an online report quoting him saying the Aug. 7 referendum could be called off under certain circumstances.

After the Brussels-based website EurActiv reported that spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni said the vote could be postponed if anything happened to His Majesty the King, the official said his comments were misrepresented and taken out of context.

“We didn’t talk anything about [the king], or referendum, or election,” Norachit said.

He also questioned why the news site waited for a month before publishing a story based on a month-old conversation.

Khaosod English is withholding certain details of this story due to harsh legal consequences for discussing the royal family.

Norachit said a EuraActiv reporter approached him during a reception after he met with members of the European Parliament in Brussels, and asked him if the referendum might be canceled under any circumstances. Norachit said that when he replied in the negative, the reporter asked specifically if it would be affected by something happening to His Majesty.

The spokesman said he simply replied that Thais would spend at least a year in mourning, and said nothing about the referendum being postponed.

“He mixed the story up,” Norachit said. “If that kind of question, if anything about the monarchy, were indeed raised, I would have declined to answer.”

He said the conversation happened in June and could only speculate as to why they waited until now to publish the story.

“They may have some agenda,” he said.

Norachit said he’s already informed the Royal Thai Embassy in Brussels, and expected the mission would soon issue a statement repudiating the article.