Thai authorities shut down red-shirt TV stations

Thai authorities have shut down two satellite TV stations affiliated with the anti-establishment red shirts for seven days in the name of national security.

According to the Thai News Agency, Takorn Tantasit, Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NBCT), revealed that on Sunday the NBTC issued an order to suspend for seven days the broadcasting signals for Peace TV and TV 24, two TV stations affiliated with United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a red shirt group.

Peace TV is barred from going on air from 10 to 16 April while TV 24 faces the same prohibition from 11 to 17 April.

The NBTC Secretary-General said that contents of the programmes Mong Klai Khid Rob Dan (Having Worldly Visions), Doen Na To Pai (Keep Walking Ahead), and Khaojai Trong Kan Na (We Share the Same Understanding) on Peace TV, and of Awakened, News Room, and Clear on 24 TV caused public confusion and divisiveness and incited conflict.

The programmes of the two stations violated the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Announcements Nos. 97/2014 and 103/2014, Takorn added.  

Announcement No. 97/2014 of the NCPO states that every media outlet is prohibited from criticising the coup-makers and presenting information which contravenes the junta’s measures to maintain national security.

However according to Announcement No. 103/2014, which was issued to amend certain clauses of Announcement 97/2014, ‘honest’ and ‘constructive’ criticism of the junta is allowed, but any information discrediting the coup-makers is still prohibited and people who violate the announcement will be investigated.

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