Connect with us

Phuket

Thai politics not ‘all in the family’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

Thai politics not ‘all in the family’ | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community. World Cup? Get instantaneous scores and news updates right here on the Gazette Online (fed directly from FIFA).

PHUKET: In stark contrast with the family of deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who speak with one voice on seemingly all matters, the Vejjajivas appear rather more free to speak for themselves.

Thus it was refreshing and encouraging yesterday to note the freedom with which Bangkok Post columnist Suranand Vejjajiva, cousin of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, was able to air some views.

As reported in The Nation this morning, Suranand was speaking at a symposium on media freedom organised by Chulalongkorn University’s Institute of Security and International Studies.

He said Thailand is currently facing many censorship problems, a state of affairs brought on by the Emergency Decree put in place by the government of his cousin Abhisit during the protests.

Whoever is in power must recognise that there must be room for differences of opinion, Suranand opined – freely.

“Who’s going to define national security? What constitutes lese majeste? Who is going to define that? … We’re living in special circumstances because the emergency decree is out there…. Right now you can close down community radio without having to go through the judicial process,” said Suranand.

The emergency decree, he added, enabled the government of his cousin to detain ‘Voice of Thaksin’ editor and red-shirt key member Somyos Phruksakemsuk for three weeks, although no coherent charge was ever made against him.

“There are no clear rules of engagement on what you can do and what you can’t,” said Suranand, who admitted that when he was in charge of the government-controlled media under the Thaksin administration, some Thai Rak Thai MPs wanted to shut down the anti-Thaksin ASTV television.

The government at that time sought the court’s opinion and was told it would be unconstitutional.

Suranand said a lot of mainstream media are too accommodating of the current government and have overblown the fear of Thaksin as a threat to the “superstructure” of the Kingdom, while in fact, in his (Suranand’s) opinion, Thaksin is merely a threat to the present government.

Very few newspapers continue to ask what happened with the 90 deaths, he said.

“[As for] The Nation and the Bangkok Post, I don’t see them asking anymore,” he said, adding that people were being forced by the media and the government into believing in “one-sided propaganda”, which dictates that “You have to be united in only one direction.”

Presenting a different view, Thepchai Yong, director of TPBS television and former group editor of The Nation, said that according to a recent poll, a majority of Thais could accept the extension of the state of emergency.

Thepchai said the mainstream media today is not controlled by any generals, although some self-censorship is practised because the media themselves are “mindful of the public” which is politically divided.

“The Thai media are Thai. They have been like that for decades,” he said, adding that the mainstream media should themselves look back and reflect on their role in order to regain the lost trust.

“How can they win back the trust that they have lost? This is a big question.
“It has less to do with the issue of media freedom. The Thai media have all the freedom in the world to report on what they want to report,” he said.

Thailand resists Mekong dams

Bangkok Post
Thailand’s representatives at a regional riverine forum in Vietnam have opposed the Chinese government’s plan to build 12 hydropower dams on the lower Mekong River.

They argued that the dams would destroy the river’s ecosystem.

Prasarn Maruekpithak, chairman of the sub-committee for studying value, development and its impact on the Mekong River basin, was invited by the Mekong River Commission to attend a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City.

The meeting, held on Thursday, discussed four options – to scrap all the dam projects; to delay the projects for study of the possible impacts; to build a dam as a pilot project; and to move ahead with plans to build 12 dams, Mr Prasarn said.

Mr Prasarn said he told the meeting that the only advantage of the dams was electricity production, and that there were several other alternative energy sources that could be utilised.

Swedish scammer nabbed in Pattaya

Earth Times
Thai immigration police say that a man holding dual Swedish and Finnish nationalities was nabbed yesterday in Pattaya on charges of embezzling 10.27 million krone (approx 40 million baht) from a Swedish company.

Sven Tommy Lindfors, 50, was arrested at the request of Interpol to face charges of embezzlement in January 2008 from the firm Nyfors Teknologi AB, a high-end supplier of optical fibre-handling equipment based in Stockholm, the police said.

Athiwas said Lindfors entered Thailand at the end of last year on a Finnish passport.

Thailand thanks friends

Today
A few hours of pampering at a spa, dinner with the Prime Minister, speedy exits at the airport…. These are just some of the ways that Thailand is saying thank you to a group of overseas customers it calls “Thailand’s Best Friends”.

The campaign is part of the government’s efforts to convince the international community that Thailand remains a friendly place to do business, despite concerns about political instability after 10 weeks of anti-government protests.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva invited 150 of the top importers of Thai goods for a four-day expenses-paid trip this week. The invitees come from 43 countries.

The ministry started the campaign a year ago with 50 companies, but organisers decided this year to triple the number and throw in new gifts.

Cambodia bent on boosting tourism

People’s Daily [China]
Thailand’s neighbor Cambodia is eyeing temples and cultural sites in its Preah Vihear Province in an attempt to increase tourism levels and compete with Thailand and Viet Nam as tourist magnets.

Delivering a speech at the launch of student contests in Phnom Penh on Thursday, Sok An, deputy prime minister, said that Preah Vihear, located about 500 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, is rich with potential for tourism.

He said that in addition to Preah Vihear Temple, a World Heritage Site that is currently a source of major Thai/Cambodian friction over border delineation issues, there are about 200 more temples in the province, plus many other natural sites and rare birds.

He noted that with 200 giant Ibis, out of a current world population of only 500, Preah Vihear could be turned into a major attraction for eco-tourists.

Sok An claimed that the Cambodian government had spent nearly USD 100 million to improve the infrastructure in and around Preah Vihear, building and repairing roads and bridges to improve access to the province for tourists.

He said that Cambodia

— Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World16 mins ago

China announces cryptocurrency trading is illegal

North East28 mins ago

Stolen 72 year old elephant returned to owner after 18 years

Thailand1 hour ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand2 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket2 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

Thailand4 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand5 hours ago

Umbrellas out, more monsoonal rain in the wake of ‘Dianmu’

Thailand6 hours ago

Sunday Covid update: 125 deaths and 12,353 new cases

Thailand15 hours ago

Record-breaking 1 million Covid-19 vaccines given yesterday

Technology18 hours ago

Junk messages must now be blocked by Thai mobile carriers

Kanchanaburi19 hours ago

Abusive Kanchanaburi temple rehab centre ordered to close.

Phuket20 hours ago

Phuket begins new subdermal injection method for vaccines

Bangkok21 hours ago

Police bust hotel party with ecstasy and ketamine, 59 arrested

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 5 new deaths and 4 new Sandbox infections

Tourism4 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy6 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime5 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand5 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines6 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand6 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok5 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Phuket3 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand5 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Pattaya4 days ago

October Pattaya reopening on schedule according to mayor

Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime4 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket7 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand5 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending