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Defiant red shirts put new radio station on air

A new red-shirt radio station went on air yesterday in the Rajprasong intersection protest-site area, in a move to counter the continued shutting down of red-shirt media by the government under emergency rule.

"They should allow us to criticise [the government], but instead they shut our ears and eyes," Chinawat Haboonpak, a red-shirt leader told the crowd at the intersection yesterday morning. "We ask for just one television channel, but they have taken it away from us and shut our ears and eyes again."

The new station - on FM 106.80 - broadcasts from a new tower installed near Lumpini Park and calls itself Rajprasong Community Radio. Its reception can be received all the way to Bang Na area, in eastern Bangkok.

Chinawat admitted he decided to shut down Taxi Radio on Friday after the government had succeeded in jamming it to the point where its reception was so limited as to be inconsequential.

Chinawat, who was behind Taxi Radio, said it was not worth the Bt30,000 cost of electricity per month. "There are 5,000 to 6,000 stations, but they won't allow one [red-shirt] radio station to exist," he complained.

Two directors of red-shirt community radio stations were summoned by the government's state of emergency operations centre on Friday. On the Internet, 190 websites are now blocked or shut down by the government.

One of the few remaining red-shirt radio stations, broadcasting from a suburban area of Bangkok, heavily denounced the government yesterday for shutting down PTV, community radio stations and websites.

The continued censorship of red-shirt media has turned the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva into a "tyrannical regime", it said, while denouncing the censorship as "illegal".

"He's a liar," said Wood Model, a red-shirt radio host yesterday, in reference to Abhisit. "Thailand has become a country of lies. This government can order the media around and shut down media and infringe on people's rights and liberty - truly a dictatorship. He's shameless."



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