Court dismisses lawsuit against Daily News over child protection

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a family against Daily News, stating the media outlet was performing its duty without intent to harm. The case concerned the protection of an eight year old child under the Child Protection Act 2005.

Today, July 2, at 9.35am the Juvenile and Family Court in Surat Thani dismissed a lawsuit brought by the family of an eight year old child against Daily News Web Co., Ltd. and Four Phaya Printing Co., Ltd. The family had sought a court order to protect the child’s welfare, alleging that the news report distorted facts and incited hatred against the child.

Daily News editor Apichai Rungruengkul, along with Nikhom Waibut, a lawyer and reporter, were present in court. Nikhom stated that the court acknowledged Daily News as a media entity fulfilling its role. He mentioned that while there was no significant concern initially, it serves as a reminder to the media to avoid publishing unblurred images. He clarified that Daily News had no malicious intent, as the content was published based on information from the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), intended as a cautionary measure. The images in question had already been circulated by the Niramit Thewajuti group.

Apichai emphasised that there was no intention to harm the child. The publication aimed to ensure the correct practice of Buddhism, following advice from the NOB to serve as a deterrent. He expressed gratitude for the court’s understanding and assured that the Daily News would exercise greater caution in future reports.

“We did not intend to harm the child. Our goal was to uphold the integrity of Buddhism. The NOB provided the information to us as a preventative measure.”

The family of the eight year old had argued that the news report caused undue distress and hatred towards the child. The court’s ruling, however, emphasised that the Daily News had performed its role without any intent to cause harm, relying on information provided by a credible source, reported KhaoSod.


ORIGINAL STORY: Thailand assesses boy’s mental health over telepathy abilities

Thailand’s authorities are taking legal action to assess the mental health of an eight year old boy known as Nong Nice who is claimed by his parents to have telepathic abilities and a connection with Buddhist deities.

The Social Development and Human Security Ministry, led by Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, is now seeking a court warrant to evaluate the child after repeated refusals from the family to allow a house visit by officials.

Concerns have been raised over the boy’s well-being, as his parents assert that he is a reincarnation of a son of Lord Buddha and has inherited mystical powers akin to those of a naga, a mythical serpent revered in Thai Buddhist culture.

Varawut has instructed the ministry’s Surat Thani provincial office to dispatch a team, including therapists, to investigate the boy’s mental condition and family environment. The persistent denial of access by the parents has led authorities to approach the Juvenile and Family Court for authorisation to conduct a mental assessment on Nong Nice.

“The ministry and the Department of Children and Youth have the full legal responsibility to protect children’s rights and welfare,” said Varawut, emphasising the focus on the child’s upbringing, family background, and education to determine if he has been receiving adequate care under Thai law.

The ministry’s remarks came after a legal complaint was filed with the Central Investigation Bureau against Nong Nice and eight other individuals who manage his mind connection office and website on Monday which violates the Computer Act, Donation Soliciting Act and Child Welfare Protection Act.

The complaint originates from several high-profile social critics, including Khun Ton Or, founder of the Be One Foundation.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Pichit Cheunban, as the overseer of the National Office of Buddhism (NOB), has directed the office to address any public confusion over false Buddhist teachings possibly propagated by the boy.

Despite some delays, the NOB is taking steps to investigate the matter, although the boy is not a monk and therefore does not fall directly under its jurisdiction, reported Bangkok Post.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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