Pattaya Daily News

18 May 2007 :: 20:05:23 pm 29648

Thai Radio Closed After Airing Thaksin Interview

A radio station in Thailand has been taken off air after broadcasting an live interview with ousted prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra who lives in exile in London.
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FM 87.75 was the first Thai broadcaster to carry an interview with Mr Thaksin, since he was overthrown by the military last September. In it he called for a swift return to democracy.

The military accused the station of undermining national security. 

‘We will be listening to these illegal radio stations to see whether they are attacking the government and if they do we will send authorities to shut them down,’ said Borworn Thecha-in, director of the radio and television division at the Public Relations Department (PRD).

Borworn said Thailand had more than 1,000 small radio stations that have operating in a legal limbo for years, pending legislation to cover the media sector.

‘In the past we’ve ignored them, partly because they are so difficult to monitor,’ said Borworn. ‘Sometimes these stations just play music all day.’

On Thursday, the PRD closed down the FM 87.75 station after it aired a live interview with Thaksin from his home in London in which the ousted premier called for speedy elections in Thailand and criticized the current government for not solving the country’s problems.

The station has been charged with operating without a license, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and/or a 100,000 baht (2,857 dollars) fine.

‘We were acting on a complaint,’ said Borworn, explaining the closure of FM 87.75.
Mr Thaksin made two calls to the station late on Wednesday and Thursday asking about the impact of a quake in northern Laos which was felt in Bangkok.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Politics News

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