‘Very confidential’ letter instructs government to deal with red radio, websites and cable TV

A confidential letter has been sent to a Prime Minister’s Office Minister, blacklisting websites, community radio stations and cable TV stations. The source of the letter has not been reported.

On July 20, Thai Rath and Manager reported that the letter was sent to PM’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtoei and contained a list of websites, and radio and cable TV stations which were considered subversive and inflammatory.       
 
The letter indicates that a cable TV station located in Lad Phrao broadcasts the activities of Thaksin Shinawatra around the clock. Manager points out that this is to emulate royal activities.
 
According to the letter, a special task force which includes Special Branch police has been formed and assigned to monitor the contents of these outlets. And it has been found that these outlets have been inciting the public against the government and democracy as well as the Monarchy on an almost daily basis. Songs attacking the government and the elite are written and played.
 
All information has been sent to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban for further action.
 
Abhisit, Suthep and Satit are reportedly coordinating with the police, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the task force to make arrests.
 
The community radio stations include Udon (87.75MHz), Khon Rak Thai (95.25), Chiang Mai (92.50), Lampang (90.25), Chiang Rai (104), Rim Ping, Lamphun, Ubon, and Khon Rak Taxi (92.75).
 
 
And the cable TV station is MVTV5.
 
According to Satit Wongnongtoei in a Matichon report on July 21, a subcommittee under the National Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NTC) has allowed community radio operators from across the country to register, and over 4,000 have done so. 
 
The NTC will later have to announce rules and terms for the issuance of temporary licenses, under which the registered operators have to operate. The operators are bound by two restrictions: not to use transmitters that interfere with mainstream radio frequencies, and not to air content subversive to Thai institutions and the government.
 
‘It has been checked and found that community radio operators who have not registered are mostly those who serve political interests. The PM has already said that he wants the relevant agencies to take care of them, but the agencies have been waiting for the NTC announcement. Two weeks have passed, but it has not yet been put on the NTC table. I don’t know why. Today, I have called NTC Secretary-General Suranant Wongwitthayakamchorn to push for the announcement soon. Once the announcement takes effect, those who have not registered will be considered illegal, and will have to stop operating,’ Satit said.
 
Satit said that if the NTC could announce the rules and terms by next week, non-conforming community radio stations would be immediately closed, especially the dozens of stations which served political interests. It is necessary to maintain order, he said, noting that more than 99% of the operators who are good have now registered. So he is not worried about the remaining 1% holdouts who are bad people, as they are just a minority.
Source: 
<p>http://www.prachatai.com/journal/2009/07/25145</p>

Advertisements

Since 2007, Prachatai English has been covering underreported issues in Thailand, especially about democratization and human rights, despite the risk and pressure from the law and the authorities. However, with only 2 full-time reporters and increasing annual operating costs, keeping our work going is a challenge. Your support will ensure we stay a professional media source and be able to expand our team to meet the challenges and deliver timely and in-depth reporting.

• Simple steps to support Prachatai English

1. Bank transfer to account “โครงการหนังสือพิมพ์อินเทอร์เน็ต ประชาไท” or “Prachatai Online Newspaper” 091-0-21689-4, Krungthai Bank

2. Or, Transfer money via Paypal, to e-mail address: service@prachatai.com, please leave a comment on the transaction as “For Prachatai English”