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Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)
Banning books must be contagious in Thailand! The Thai government has now ordered censorship of the Thai translation of Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, "à¡éÒº·ÇÔ¨ÒÃ³ì¾ÃÃ¤¤ÍÁÁÔÇ¹ÔÊµì" FACT readers may be forgiven for wondering what criticising the Chinese government has to do with us!
On October 10, Thai daily "Matichon" reported news of the ban order for the book in Thai translated from Chinese. The book criticises the Chinese Communist Party. A Thai 'Press Officer' empowered to act as government book censor comments that the text of the book directly attacks the Chinese government and may affect peaceful relations between Thailand and China.
Therefore the Thai government issued its ban order on October 8 under Article 9 of the Printing Act of 1941 as "contrary to public order or good morals". Such an order may be issued by publication in the Government Gazette or any daily newspaper.
Article 9 was used only ten days ago to ban another book in Thai, A Quarter-Century on Democracy's Thorny Path "¤èÍ¹ÈµÇÃÃÉ»ÃÐªÒ¸Ô»äµÂ·ÕèàµçÁä»´éÇÂ¢ÇÒ¡Ë¹ÒÁ", by Thai social critic Sulak Sivaraksa. The ban order prohibits sale and distribution of both books and orders seizure of all copies. Already, Internet sales from Se-Ed Books have been halted.
The government ban appears to consider Nine Commentaries was published in Thailand in order to sow anti-Chinese Communist propaganda on fertile ground. The Thai government appears to think Thai adoption of the views contained in the book may affect the good relations between the two countries.
The Chinese government has enjoyed warm relations with Thailand. However, Thai government bureaucrats think this publication in Thailand may affect peace and public morals in Thailand.
Matichon's report continues that the book criticises the Chinese Communist Party. Nine Commentaries was translated from nine anonymous editorial opinions published on Dajiyuan ["Epoch Times"] website on November 19, 2004. The book has become popular among expatriate Chinese but is, of course, banned in China.
The Thai government thinks Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party can cause anti-Chinese government sentiment among overseas Chinese living in Thailand. However, the book has already developed a cult following among Thai Chinese.
The book's nine chapters include such titles as 3--"On the Tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party" and 8--"On How the Chinese Communist Party Is an Evil Cult". More can be read at From "Epoch Times'" publicity: "The Nine Commentaries is arguably the most comprehensive analysis of the CCP reign in China. It discloses how the CCP came to power and provides insight into the policies and methods-many of which have never before been disclosed in full-it has used to rule China for the past 55 years".
The book challenges and encourages ordinary Chinese citizens to resign from and denounce the Communist Party. "Epoch Times" reports "Martial-law conditions were imposed in areas of Shandong province and elsewhere as state authorities conducted manhunts for individuals believed to be distributing the Nine Commentaries. Professional dancer and Australian citizen, Xue Jun Wang, was deported back to Australia from China when he was caught in possession of the book while rehearsing in Shanghai for a performance of the Sydney Dance Company.
"Epoch Times" appears to have editorial offices in New York and 12 regional offices in the USA and Canada as well as offices in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and four Asian countries but not in Thailand.
The current ban order marks the first time an anti-Communist book has been banned in Thailand! Over the last 50 years, dozens of publications thought to be 'Communist', many published in China, were banned by Thailand's long series of military governments.
Thailand's military-appointed National Legislative Assembly, a lame duck in the face of December 23 national elections, has already passed a somewhat liberalised Printing Act 2007. The new Act has not come into law as yet.
FACT makes the full Thai text of Nine Commentaries available at http://factdata.googlepages.com/comment9.pdf (English is coming!), as does Fringer.org at
http://www.fringer.org/wp-content/writings/comment9.pdf Other banned books from FACT are available at http://factdata.googlepages.com/ -- Enjoy! READ BANNED BOOKS!
Print copies of Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party may be ordered from Amazon.com and other online booksellers. The book's ISBNs are 1-932674-16-0 (English), 1-932674-13-6 (Chinese), 398104620X (German). Nine Commentaries is also available in French, Spanish, Swedish, Czech, Russian and Hebrew.
All readers are welcomed to sign FACT's petition against censorship at http//:facthai.wordpress.com/sign