Media War

exposing media bias in Thailand

Emergency is prolonged – thanks to Media again

Government spokesman Panitan Wattanayakorn said in an interview on Thursday the Asia Times Online report ( See A battle won in Thailand’s ‘war ) was one of several reasons Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva had not yet lifted the emergency decree he declared last Sunday. The same spokesman was quoted in local media on Friday as saying the armed attack on Sondhi could further prolong lifting of the decree.

Shall we say thanks to Crispin this time ? which is too convinient for “Democrat” Abhisit to continue curb civil liberties under Emergency Decree and particularly Freedom of Speech  – continue to block all opposition media and websites ? I’m sure Crispin as journalist very well knows how important it is both for reporters and for public to have it and supposed to HELP ensure this Freedom of Speech, not to cause its diminishing. So, was his article too sensational (particularly the part about Reds stockpiling weapons for past 2 years), without taking into consideration the possible influence upon the already tense situation?  Although of course Abhisit can find so many reasons now for his continuation of Emergency – as this already mentioned alleged attempt on Sondhi’s life.

In his latest article today Crispin it seems again goes further even then army and government done so far in linking UDD to Sondhi’s case:

The fear now is that Friday’s assassination attempt could indicate that the UDD and Thaksin’s supporters

aim to bypass the courts and mete out justice as they see fit on Thailand’s increasingly mean streets.”

fear” by whom – by government or by Crispin ?  Thai media at the moment is very careful to point finger directly at Reds.  If Crispin has more facts than Thai media (Matichon quotes Panthep saying “PAD believes it was either police or soldiers who were behind the attack” – as translated BP in his post) – perhaps it would be suitable to share them to support such statements and connection?

The reason I say this is – because even PAD themselves (their spokesman Panthep was quoted this morning by Nation)  didn’t makes such a connections as Crispin allows, but rather said that it was army or police behind this attack. Panthep said that Sondhi was warned and knew about this possible assassination attempt in advance but chose to ignore it.

Here is PAD’s own opinion:

PAD suspects political motivation

PAD leaders suspect certain political cliques conspired to shoot down Sondhi, said Suriyasai. The shooting with assault rifles bore the hallmarks of work by men in uniform, as ordinary gunmen would not risk carrying out the job during emergency rule, he said. He called for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to overhaul the personnel in charge of security affairs.

Somkiat said the government had failed to ensure safety under its emergency rule. He suggested the removal of the national police chief, military commanders, the director of the Armed Forces Security Centre and the director-general of the National Intelligence Agency. PAD co-leader Pibhop Dhongchai said he found it hard to believe the military had no knowledge about the attack on Sondhi.

This another the Latest article neither mentiones UDD:

Sondhi survives assassins’ bullets


Update  Sun Apr 19th 1pm (Bkk time)

read the recent posts by BP  (Attack on Sondhi : His Son’s View)  and SR  (Sondhi’s Son: “New Plot, Gestapo State)


So, ince even PAD and Nation (very well known haters of Thaksin and his Reds) don’t mention UDD, it makes me wonder – why Crispin does, where he gets his iformation from ? Is he better informed than PAD leaders themselves, as well as army and police?  😀  I am sure both PAD, Nation (and perhaps majority of Thai media)  and especially Abhisit’s government  would LOVE  to  get a better facts of UDD connection to Sondhi’s case – IF Crispin has such facts at all, not some guesses, rumors or speculations.  So, seriously – perhaps  he could provide any such ? 😉

Another fact I think Crispin must take into consideration, and  subject of  VERY hot discussion all over Thai web boards today – is this video,

recorded from Sondhi’s ASTV talk (apparently after PAD helped Abhisit to form a government and PAD leaders were supposed to be charged) :

สนธิ รู้ตัว จะถูกอำมาตย์ยิง

translates as: ‘he knew that AMARTAYA-thipathai will kill him

(AMARTAYA-thipathai is a term widely used in UDD statements, which Thai media translates as “bureaucratic polity”  or some other reporters call Establishment;

see example here: “Thaksin: fighting against bureaucratic polity” ; also good discussion of it here:  Protecting the Bureaucratic Polity

On another blog they give this definition of Amart: Upper-Crust, judiciary, military, Royalist Rule)

some excerpts (hasty translation):

“…  I know that some of you made a deal to tigh me up …

that ‘Sondhi is very dangerous – must tigh him with chain as big as for elephant…’   – make a court case against me.

I’m sorry – I’m not afraid even of Thaksin, what to talk about you.  If I can fight Thaksin – I am not afraid of anybody, you can’t tigh me up by this court case …

why guys from Kho-Mor-Cho (CNS / “Council for National Security“- generals who were in CNS are still referred to as Kho-Mor-Cho)  misinterpret (misunderstand) me? you don’t understand my heart?  I fight for you 365 days a year – while you go to play golf !

That time I didn’t see you being brave – but in the end you are brave…  And yet despite that you consider me dangerous, why you think like that ?..

I don’t mean everyone in Kho-Mor-Cho – only some of them, who wants to be in big position in politics …  Don’t think that you can make coup (curfew) one more time to destroy righteous people…  I’m not afraid of Thaksin – why I should be afraid of you. I’m not afraid of being killed…  If I die from bullet – you’ll see what’ll happen.  I know you’re not brave enough to do this…  If Thaksin’s people come to protest and you shoot few bullets at them, you think Thaksin will do nothing [to you] ?

Here is another more recent (last week?) video, when Sondhi among 21 PAD leaders reported to Court:

Here Sondhi uses very foul language against Anupong, Suthep and Abhisit even in front of reporters. He repeats several times very rude Thai equivalent of “godddamn” them (and then even stronger than that). Also he says in reference to latest UDD rally started on Apr 8th: “This is not my business – this is between Thaksin, Abhisit and Anupong. Let them handle it”. He also mentions that “They [CNS – army] taken power away from Thaksin NOT for Democracy, but for themselves, to share the meat.. WHAT has changed with their (Surayud’s) government? Nothing … ”

so, he surely expressed very blatantly his anger at  “Amart”  who used him and now treats him like this – makes him appear in Court (for charges against Pad leaders).

Crispin might take into consideration all these FACTS, not some rumors ande avoid such statements for the sake of sooner lifting of Emergency,  return of FREEDOM OF SPEECH at least to the level before the Emergency (whatever its worth anyway – at least opposition could express their opinion openly and freely!)  AND  even avoid that very fear Crispin talks about to come true – more viloence due to added possible clashes between rival Yellow and Red groups!

Otherwise he risks to  is what Pilger meant by “War by journalism“:

those whose job is to keep the record straight: …  journalists… a small group who hold privileged sway over the way we think, even the way we use language.

… censorship by omission, the product of a parallel world of unspoken truth and public myths and lies: in other words, censorship by journalism, which today has become war by journalism.  For me, this is the most virulent and powerful form of censorship, fuelling an indoctrination that runs deep in western societies, deeper than many journalists themselves understand or will admit to. Its power is such that it can mean the difference between life and death for untold numbers of people in faraway countries

A venerable cliché is that truth is the first casualty in wartime. I disagree. Journalism is the first casualty

If we journalists are ever to reclaim the honour of our craft, we need to understand, at least, the historic task that great power assigns us…

What should journalists do? I mean, journalists who give a damn? They need to act now.

Governments fear good journalists… All were mavericks. None embraced the corporate world of journalism …

It is said the internet is an alternative; and what is wonderful about the rebellious spirits on the World Wide Web is that they often report as journalists should. They are mavericks in the tradition of the great muckrakers … But the internet is still a kind of  samizdat, an underground, and most of humanity does not log on; just as most of humanity does not own a cell phone. And the right to know ought to be universal.  That other great muckraker, Tom Paine, warned that if the majority of the people were denied the truth and ideas of truth, it was time to storm what he called the “Bastille of words”. That time is now.

I always liked and enjoyed  Crispin’s articles as alternative to Thai press. I have no doubt – he is an experienced journalist and certainly I’m not in position to teach him anything. However I trust that he may find a lot of wisdom in Piler’s words and perhaps may continue a good work of  providing the TRUTH, not helping the “great power” to deny the truth !

Update  Sat Apr 18th 1pm (Bkk time)

Bkk Post :

The state of emergency will also remain in force… Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday announced he would prolong emergency rule in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces…  necessary to restore peace and normalcy, although the decree may not remain in place for that much longer.


Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Friday announced the Cabinet decision to extend the State of Emergency Decree now enforced in the capital and five neighbouring provinces, saying the special law is necessary to ensure that peace and order have been fully restored…. prime minister pledged that the enforcement of the emergency decree would not last long, but the government has currently needed to restore normalcy with measures authorised by the special law, which will be revoked in due course…. the decision not to lift emergency rule is unrelated to Friday’s assassination attempt against the key leader of the anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), Sondhi Limthongkul…

Banning public gatherings of more than five people, news reports considered threatening to public order and empowering police and military to detain suspects for up to 30 days without charge, the emergency order suspends some civil liberties.

Hopefully it is not indefinetely ?  No particular date was given.


April 17, 2009 - Posted by | Anti-establishment, Media Control, Thai MSM |

1 Comment »

  1. […] war” by Thai gov. and loyal to it local Thai MSM Last year after events of “Black Songkran“ events,  success in which for government was largely due to smart usage of Media, […]

    Pingback by new round of “Media War” by gov is announced « Media War | February 4, 2010 | Reply

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