A high-ranking member of Thailand's ruling military junta has ordered broadcasters in the country to cease quoting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who has been traveling abroad since his government was overthrown on Sept. 19. The Bangkok English-language newspaper The Nation said that in a meeting with "50 editors of the broadcasting media," Winai Phattiyakul, secretary-general of the Council for National Security, ordered a halt to further reporting of Thaksin's activities. "You guys should know that if we allow representatives of the former premier to make statements every day, the public will be confused," Winai told them. The New Order angered journalists, many of whom had privately supported the coup. Spinya Klangnarong, secretary-general of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform, told The Nation: "It's all about stifling any opposition. ... The CNS is no different from Thaksin in this regard. Today it is only messing with broadcast media; there is no guarantee it will not try to control the press tomorrow." Last week, the junta, without naming Thaksin directly, appeared to point the finger at him for a series of bombings that rocked the country. Thaksin denied that he or anyone associated with his political party was involved.




10/01/2007