CRES warns of closing print media which distort facts and affront the monarchy

The CRES spokesperson told a press conference that certain print media have distorted information causing anxiety and rifts among the public, and presented news affronting the monarchy.  The CRES will take legal action against them or close them down if necessary.

According to Matichon, on 31 Aug, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, spokesperson for the CRES, spoke to the press after a CRES meeting which was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban.

At the meeting, the firing of an M79 grenade into the National Broadcasting Television (NBT) station was discussed.  It was assumed to be an attempt to create turmoil and make the public feel insecure in their lives and property, but not to harm anyone.

The Deputy Prime Minister instructed personnel to intensify intelligence work, to check the surveillance cameras at the NBT station, as well as those of the Expressway Authority of Thailand and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and to increase police and military forces in areas which are at risk, including, for example, transportation systems, TV stations, communities, and shopping malls, the colonel said.

It was reported at the meeting that certain print media had distorted information and presented news which bordered on offending the monarchy.  The CRES has kept tabs on them, and will take legal action or close them if necessary, he said.

He mentioned as an example a ‘colour-headed’ newspaper which reported that ‘people in colours [or in uniforms] are hunting down red shirts and threatening them to stop their activities.’  Common sense tells you the ‘people in colours’ means police and military officers, and this misleads the public into thinking that the authorities are persecuting the red shirts, he said.

He said the CRES would first warn them about such reporting, and would take further legal measures if they still did not comply.

When asked whether the frequent bombings which had happened recently would affect the decision to revoke the Emergency Decree or not, Col Sansern said that currently there was no discussion about this issue, as it was under the authority of the Prime Minister.

Many have tried to accuse the authorities of being responsible for the bombings in order to create a situation to prolong the Emergency Decree, but no authorities would have done so, the colonel insisted.  He dismissed such speculation as impossible.

Regarding the red shirts who have been regrouping and organizing activities, he said, ‘We’ve kept an eye on them all the time, monitoring their meetings and movements in areas where the Emergency Decree has been lifted.  But we have to consider whether they act within the scope of law.  If they don’t violate the law, they can [carry out their activities].’