Request filled!: finding a community radio report

10 07 2012

Back on 23 October 2010, PPT posted “Thinking Differently is a Crime” about a report that came from the Campaign for Popular Media Reform. We had a link to a PDF of the report Thailand: Where thinking differently is a crime. The report of 12 pages had high-quality graphics and was an investigation of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s actions against community radio. This link used to work but now redirects to a web page selling fake medicine.

We are interested to get a copy of the report or a new link that works. Please email us at:

Update: A reader tells us that the original link quoted by PPT: looks like a hijacked link, that now has been disabled by the owner of the domain. This reader found the report here.

Media, democracy and politics

12 02 2011

Supinya Klangnarong of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform is in The Nation making the seemingly semi-annual call for an open media in Thailand.

Supinya “hopes the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) will be up and running by end of this year. Unless such a crucial regulatory body is in place soon, the structure of broadcasting and telecom interests in Thailand will remain unchanged.” She says that “[a]s long as the current structure is intact … [t]here will be no free and fair competition for the benefits of consumers in terms of prices and quality of service.”

After battling court cases and other pressure during the Thaksin Shinawatra administration, she says: “Today, the same thing has happened again. The persons and political parties involved may have changed, but it’s still basically vested interests involving the state and private firms.” She adds: “In politics, for example, the quality of governance and politicians will heavily depend on the people’s access to information and freedom of expression.”

The power-that-be are reluctant to release control of the media for they fear freedom of expression.

Thinking differently is a crime

23 10 2010

This link is to a PDF of a report Thailand: Where thinking differently is a crime from the Campaign for Popular Media Reform. The report of 12 pages with high-quality graphics is an investigation of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government’s actions against community radio. The report states:

The Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR) under the Community Radio Watch project has followed up cases of community radio stations being shutdown and the arrest of related persons. We have been visiting the areas to interview the operators of the community radio stations being shutdown and 19 related persons who are imprisoned. We also have monitored the movement and operations of government officials in both Bangkok and the regions. The report of the Community Radio Watch under the political conflict situation is an attempt to indicate the process and pattern of communication blocking, as well as the control of people’s political opinion, being expressed through ‘Community radio’, under the State of Emergency declaration according to the Emergency Decree on Government Administration during States of Emergency B.E. 2548 (2005).

The report lists blacklisted and closed community radio stations and details the state’s harassment of the stations. This is an important documenting of censorship and political repression. Further commentary and debate can be found here and at, where the author appears to defends repression by the Abhisit government as some kind of Thai political culture at work: “it is probably important to note that we are in a reactionary time, with epoch-defining events to occur in the near term and a new military clique in the ascendancy…. We can expect more conservatism from the establishment and probably not any revolutionary change in Thai thinking about these issues.” By “Thai thinking, the author means “elite thinking.”

Read the report by CPMR; it is revealing and enlightening.

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.

Updated: More internet censorship likely

30 07 2010

There had been some hopes, harbored by the more optimistic, that the draconian provisions of the post-2006 coup Computer Crimes Act might be liberalized. That hope seems to have turned to despair, according to a long report in the Bangkok Post. The conservatives are well out in front on this.

The story now seems bleaker than ever. More cyber-snooping, more censorship, less attention to human rights, more charges and, potentially, more people in the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime’s prisons.

Supinya Klangnarong, secretary-general of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform, says that conservatives want “more severe punitive measures against so-called national security threats…”. She adds: “We believe that pushing for amendments to the law in parliament now means risking it being changed in the opposite direction, leaning towards harsher punishment for violation by internet users…”.

Conservatives like the prime minister have “thrown … support behind a so-called ‘online scout project’ to monitor improper content on the internet which poses a threat to national security and the highest institution.” This is a vigilante movement for the monarchy, being the middle class and internet generation’s equivalent of the right-wing Village Scouts.

Within the Senate, a panel dominated by the appointed senators “has been formed for the specific task of protecting the monarchy and monitoring anti-monarchy movements…”. Meanwhile, the “police are also setting up a special force to monitor online actions deemed in violation of the act…”.

Things can only to worsen as this government continues to be led and dominated by conservatives and royalists.

Update: has a picture posted (scroll down to the second picture for 31 July) that adds considerable visual weight to the idea that the conservatives are fully in command of internet censorship and that things are likely get worse. In the picture of a huge billboard, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is pictured apparently reporting an inappropriate web site. The billboard calls for Thais to come together in reporting inappropriate web sites. This could refer to all kinds of sites but the fact is that most sites the regime blocks have to do with the monarchy. Most people know the message means “protect the monarchy.” Abhisit has thrown his weight behind this task and encourages vigilantes.

Pravit reminds people to question censorship

15 05 2010

Reporting on a seminar held by the Thai Netizen Network on censorship in present-day Thailand, Pravit Rojanaphruk reminded readers to question censorship.  He quoted Supinya Klangnarong, deputy chairperson of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform, who commented that “”Normally, censorship is not allowed, but the government might get used to it because they’ve been able to do it under the emergency decree.”

This is a grave development. PPT urges readers not to get used to censorship, to question authority, and fight against the normalization of repression.

Read the original article here: The Nation, 14 May 2010, “People urged not to ‘quietly accept’ gov’t media censorship”

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