Junta orders German foundation to cancel seminar

The Thai junta has ordered a German foundation to cancel a planned seminar on Thai media, scheduled to be held on Saturday, citing the “sensitivity” of the issue.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) revealed to Prachatai that the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) forced the foundation to cancel the 2014 Asian Media Barometer Thailand event planned for Friday at a hotel in Ratchathewi, Bangkok.

The event was to be held jointly with the Thai Journalists Association (TJA).

On Thursday afternoon, the FES Thailand Office issued an apology on the cancellation of the seminar stating “With regret, we wish to inform you that the launch of the 2014 Asian Media Barometer Thailand, to be held on Friday 30 January 2015 at the VIE Hotel, is cancelled.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung will follow the request by the National Council for Peace and Order to postpone the event until further notice.”

The cancelled event featured a presentation on the Thai media barometer report by Assoc Prof Ubonrat Siriyuwasak, which would be commented on by Sunai Phasuk, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch, and Gayathry Venkiteswaran, Executive Director Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).

A panel discussion was to follow featuring 11 veteran journalists and media professionals, including Prachatai Director Chiranuch Premchaiporn,.

FES is a German political foundation associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

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