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Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Jack Arthur

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PHOTO: The International Institute/Flickr

It’s okay to criticise the government, such as the Health Minister who recently suggested huge crowds of people were an optical illusion. It is also okay to demand the government get more vaccines, and faster, as long the criticisms are based on facts, said government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri and the Deputy Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek, yesterday.

The recent government order forbidding the dissemination of fake/distorted news, and fearmongering brought with it the threat of censorship if the order is violated.

Today, representatives from 6 Thai media associations sent an open letter to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha at the Government House. The open letter repeated their request for the government to remove all restrictions that were imposed through the Emergency Decree that pertained to freedom of expression by the people and the media. Anucha took the petition and discussed that matter with them.

The spokespeople brought up the use of fake dead bodies that were used as a form of political protest against the government’s handling of the Covid situation. They said this showed the “necessity” to be firm with “fake news”. The spokespeople did not clarify how a political protest constituted fake news.

In a YouTube video posted today, Anucha says the government can “confirm” they are not restricting people’s rights to express their opinions. The spokesperson says that you can criticise the government if the criticism is based on facts.

For example, the government recently speculated that the Covid situation could be over in a month or less when experts in scientific matters say it could last for another year.

Anucha further said that the issue is with criticising the government with distorted information, which might confuse people or result in misunderstandings… and develop hatred. It was not immediately clear to whom or what the hatred comment referred to, but to theorise without more facts…

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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