Pattaya Daily News

28 April 2011 :: 11:04:17 am 53285

Thai Police Shut Down Anti-government Radio Stations

Thai police forced 13 anti-government radio stations to shut down on Tuesday in the biggest rebellious media since the street protests last year
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Police spokesman Prawut Thawornsiri confirmed that law enforment raids had been ordered but did not how many stations had been closed.

He added that the stations had broadcasted illegal statements insulting the monarchy, a serious crime in Thailand.
There are fears that Thailand’s powerful military disagrees with the prime minister’s plans to hold an election by early July. The army has held a series of high-profile manoeuvres, with the top brass declaring their dedication to protecting the monarchy.

The military is believed to fear the return to power of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra, who was overthrown in 2006 with the accusation that he was corrupt and had showed disrespect to constitutional monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Officials of the Department of Special Investigation and policemen from the Crime Suppression Division seized transmitters and other equipment from the radio stations.

The operators were charged with possessing the transmitters without licenses, said Thai E-News, a website associated with anti-government Red Shirt movement.

The stations, which claim to promote local public service radio, have been used to as political spokespersons for various groups. The regulations guiding community radio are unclear and inconsistently enforced.
The government has tried to shut down Red Shirt’s media network, including community radio stations since last year’s demonstration seeking to topple Abhisit’s government.

A Red Shirt leader, Thida Thavornseth, told The Associated Press by phone that some stations prevented police from taking their transmitters.

“Some of the owners decided to take the transmitters away themselves,” she said. “But they will have to suspend their broadcasts for a while anyway.”

She said the main Red Shirt radio station was not the target of Tuesday’s raids.

According to Thai officials, there are about 7,000 small community radio stations that are operating without legal permits. However authorities have allowed some to operate on a temporary basis with certain broadcast limits.

Report By: telegraph

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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