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Pattaya Daily News

21 January 2009 :: 15:01:59 pm 39295

Govt Ignores Ex-Premier Thaksin Shinawatra’s Phone-In

BANGKOK, Jan 21 - A senior government official said it is a right of the ousted former prime ministers to telephone in to a live television broadcast via the "Red-Shirt" TV channel, and that the government will not halt the programme believing that Thais should be able to hear the information.
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Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office Sathit Wongnongtoey spoke of convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s plan to phone in to the Truth Today show on Sunday, saying it can be done without violating the Thai Constitution and laws. The programme is set to be aired on the DTV channel, otherwise dubbed Democracy Television by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), which will follow after Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s weekly programme Sunday morning on the NBT Channel.

Mr. Sathit said the government is not worried of possible negative consequences following the call, as Mr. Thaksin has done so several times before. The government believes the Thai viewers may decide for themselves to judge the information they receive.

Minister Sathit added that it is good that the ex-premier will express his visions in comparison with those of the government and the government will be careful in performing its task.

The comparison will prove that the government has not copied the (populist) policies of the previous government headed by Mr. Thaksin and his allies.

Concerning the phone-in’s appropriateness as Mr. Thaksin was convicted by the Thai courts, Mr. Sathit said the consideration is up to the ex-premier, while agencies concerned would have to monitor and inspect the programme, whose owner and moderator must take responsibility for consequences.

Regarding the question as to whether Mr. Thaksin will use his base abroad to shake the government’s stability, the Prime Minister’s Office Minister answered it could be possible. However, the government is not closely monitoring the matter, as its principle is to strictly follow the Thai Constitution and laws.

Mr. Sathit said that Mr. Thaksin’s phone-in was to make his supporters know of his movements. Most people in Thailand understand that and everyone wants peace in the country. All information communicated via the DTV programme will be recorded as evidence in case any name is referred to. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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