BANGKOK / PHUKET (The Nation): Politicians linked to ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra will on Monday launch the DTV satellite television station, with the goal, they say, of advancing democracy and opposing coups.
Banned Thai Rak Thai Party executive Adisorn Piangket said yesterday that the station would be managed by D Station, with himself as chairman. It is being co-founded by anti-coup activists linked to the pro-Thaksin camp, he said, insisting that Thaksin was not involved in establishing or financing the station. Rather, the founders raised funds from friends and family to start the venture.
“Thaksin is floating in the ocean right now. He has almost nothing left, not even land to live on. We don’t dare bother him,” Adisorn said.
Viewers who can receive ASTV and/or provincial cable television will be able to view DTV without charge. Phuket’s two major provincial cable operators are Phuket Cable and KPP, where the Nation Channel and the Phuket Gazette’s PGTV are aired daily.
Key supporters of the new station are Jatuporn Prompan, Veera Musigapong, Natthawut Saikua, Noppadon Pattama, Sunai Jullapongsathorn and Wichit Plangsrisakul.
Programing is varied, but all shows will follow a theme of “promoting democracy”; for example, a “Truth Today” talk show by Veera, Natthawut and Jatuporn; a “Talk to Adisorn”, hosted by Adisorn; and “Democracy Station” with former government spokesman Suparat Nakbunnam.
Phra Phayom Kallayano, the popular abbot of Suan Kaew Temple, will air his daily morning dharma talk on the station.
Even though Thaksin was not involved in opening the station, he is welcome to phone in to any of these programes whenever he wants, the new station says.
Dismissing concerns about possible government intervention, PM’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey said the new DTV station was free to broadcast. He said that even if the deposed premier were to call in from abroad during shows, there should be no problems since Thaksin has a right to do so. But he reminded media outlets to exercise professional judgment when reporting news that seemed to sow divisiveness.
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