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Disappearing Lakhon (Monday pm update)

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Channel 3 abruptly cancelled its Friday night broadcast of Nua Mek 2, creating a public outcry, suspicions of political interference and on Monday evening, the hacking of the company website. Pressure on the station is growing to broadcast the final episodes. 

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"Where's my Nua Mek?" asks a message left by a hacker on the Channel 3 website.

Monday evening update

Channel 3 website hacked

The TV Channel 3 website was hacked on Monday evening by a soap opera lover who posted the message "Where is my Nua Mek?" across the homepage.

The website was broken into about 5pm, and went offline several minutes later. The website was then restored  (although at 8pm it was still not loading correctly)

Unlimited Hack Team claimed on their Facebook page that they were responsible for breaking into Channel 3's website. In their Facebook page, they said they wanted to know why Channel 3's primetime soap opera "Nua Mek 2" (beyond the clouds, or beyond comparison) was unexpectedly taken off the air last Friday.

See Sunday's story (below) for details of what happened and also for a video clip from the cancelled series.

Monday morning update

Channel 3 pressured to air soap opera

Channel 3 is facing mounting pressure from a constitution protection group to air the final episode of controversial soap opera Nua Mek 2.

The Thai Constitution Protection Association said it will petition the Central Administrative Court today to instruct the Consumers Protection Board and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to order privately owned Channel 3 to air the episode.

Association secretary-general Srisuwan Janya said his agency would also ask the court to revoke the broadcast concession granted to Channel 3 for violating consumers' constitutional rights.

The station's action drew heavy criticism from many viewers who believed there might have been political interference.

Mr Srisuwan said he believed the content of the series did not breach any section of the Broadcast and Telecommunications Operations Act. Channel 3 claimed the content was inappropriate as it breached Section 37 of the act.

Mr Srisuwan alleged that Channel 3's action had infringed on the rights and freedom of consumers in violation of Section 45 of the constitution and Section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act.

The Consumers Protection Board and the NBTC must act to protect the rights of consumers, he said.

Unless the two independent agencies order Channel 3 to air the drama series within three days of it being pulled off the air – a deadline of Tuesday – they would face charges of being negligent in their duties, he warned.

pressure – to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way กดดัน
air – broadcast; to send out a programme on television or radio กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
soap opera – a story about the lives and problems of a group of people which is broadcast every day or several times a week on television or radio  เรื่องน้ำเน่า
mount – to increase เพิ่มขึ้น
constitution – the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by รัฐธรรมนูญ
episode – one of the single parts into which a story is divided, especially when it is broadcast on the television or radio ตอน
controversial – causing disagreement ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดการโต้แย้ง
petition – to ask someone in authority to do something ยื่นคำร้อง
Administrative Court – the court which deals with disputes between the private sector and government agencies ศาลปกครอง
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
consumer – someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) – the independent government agency which oversees and regulates the Thai telecoms and broadcasting industry สำนักงานคณะกรรมการกิจการกระจายเสียง กิจการโทรทัศน์และกิจการโทรคมนาคมแห่งชาติ
revoke – to officially say that something is no longer legal, e.g., a contract, a law, a document, etc.  เพิกถอน
concession – a right that is given to a person or group to do a particular activity สัมปทาน
grant – to officially give something  ให้
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
right – something that you are morally or legally allowed to do or have สิทธิ
criticism – comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad การวิจารณ์
interference – the process of deliberately becoming involved in a situation and trying to influence the way that it develops การเข้าแทรกแซง
content – the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
breach – to fail to follow a law or rule ละเมิดกฎข้อบังคับ
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
inappropriate – unsuitable ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม
infringe on
– to take away some of a person’s rights or to limit their freedom ล่วงละเมิด, ละเมิด
– a play for the theatre, television or radio บทละคร
deadline – a time or day by which something must be done เส้นตาย
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อกล่าวหา
negligent – not being careful or giving enough attention to people or things that are your responsibility  ละเลย,ไม่สนใจ
duty – something that you have to do because it is part of your job, or something that you feel is the right thing to do หน้าที่, ความรับผิดชอบ

Sunday's story

After a public outcry over the abrupt cancellation by Channel 3 of a political TV drama, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is demanding that the station explain.

Click button to listen to Nua Mek2 and rightclick to download

Disappearing Lakhon

Viewers expecting to watch the final episodes of Channel 3’s prime-time soap opera Nua Mek 2 this weekend were disappointed.

The privately owned Channel 3 abruptly pulled its Friday night broadcast of the political drama, saying only that it contained “inappropriate content”.

Suspicions were immediately raised that this content might have been a little too relevant to the current Thai political situation, making certain powerful people uncomfortable.

Nua Mek 2 tells the story of a prime minister, his corrupt deputy who is involved in a dubious satellite project, and a sorcerer who performs black rites to manipulate political events.

The series also featured a lead character called Praepailin and a special investigation unit called the TSI.

The hook of the story was that the prime minister had already died and his body is now possessed by a necromancer.

For many posting comments in the social media, there were obvious connections to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, himself a former telecommunications tycoon, and his family.

The order to cancel the show, they believed, had to come from high government officials, a charge strongly denied by Pheu Thai Party deputy spokesman Jirayu Huangsap on Saturday.

Channel 3, itself, was saying nothing publicly. The only rationale for the cancellation was provided by National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissioner (NBTC) Peerapong Manakit who said he had spoken to a  Channel 3 executive.
The  executive told him the content of Nua Mek 2 breached Section 37 of the Broadcast and Telecommunications Operations Act, Lt Gen Peerapong said.

Section 37 bars broadcast content that seeks to overthrow the constitutional monarchy, threatens national security or morality, constitutes profanity or harms people's mental or physical health.

However, Lt Gen Peerapong said the executive did not say which specific part of Section 37 Nua Mek 2 might have violated.

Lt Gen Peerapong said the NBTC will send a letter to Channel 3 tomorrow demanding an explanation.

Adapted from stories in today’s Bangkok Post and bangkokpost.com

Is the story a bit too political? You can judge for yourself from this excerpt from the December 23 episosde which has been posted to youtube.

public outcry – a strong expression of anger and disapproval about something, made by a group of people or by the public การคัดค้านอย่างรุนแรงจากผู้คน
abrupt – sudden and unexpected, and often unpleasant อย่างกะทันหัน
commission – an official group of people who have been given responsibility to control something, or to find out about something, usually for the government  คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
disappear – to no longer exist; to no longer be in use หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย
episode – one of the single parts into which a story is divided, especially when it is broadcast on the television or radio ตอน
prime-time – the time when the greatest number of people are watching television or listening to the radio ช่วงเวลาที่มีผู้ชมโทรทัศน์มากที่สุด
soap opera – a story about the lives and problems of a group of people which is broadcast every day or several times a week on television or radio  เรื่องน้ำเน่า
disappointed – unhappy because someone or something was not as good as you hoped or expected, or because something did not happen ผิดหวัง
abruptly – suddenly and unexpectedly, and often unpleasant อย่างกะทันหัน
broadcast – a programme that can be seen or heard on television or radio แพร่ภาพกระจายเสียง
drama – a play for the theatre, television or radio บทละคร
inappropriate – unsuitable ซึ่งไม่เหมาะสม
content – the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
suspicion – a feeling that something bad is probably true or likely to happen ความสงสัย
immediately – happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
raise – to bring up a subject ยกขึ้นมาเป็นประเด็น
relevant – directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered ที่เกี่ยวข้อง
current – of the present time ปัจจุบัน
deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
dubious – not able to be trusted อย่างสงสัย
satellite – an electronic device that is sent into space and moves around the earth or another planet. It is used for communicating by radio, television, etc. and for providing information ดาวเทียม
sorcerer – a man who uses evil spirits to do magic หมอผี, พ่อมด
rite – a traditional ceremony, especially a religious one พิธีกรรม
manipulate – to control something or someone to your advantage, often unfairly or dishonestly ชักใย
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
hook – a method used for getting people interested in and attracted to something การดึงดูด
possessed – controlled by an evil spirit ผีเข้า, ถูกครอบงำ
necromancer – a person thought to be capable of communicating with dead people ผู้มีเวทมนตร์, หมอผี
social media – the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์
obvious – clear; easy to see, recognise or understand ชัดเจน
telecommunications – the science and technology of sending information by telephone, radio, or television โทรคมนาคม
tycoon – a person who has succeeded in business or industry and has become very rich and powerful นักธุรกิจที่ร่ำรวยและมีอิทธิพลมาก
deny – to say that something is not true ปฏิเสธ
publicly – intending to be seen or heard by people in general อย่างเปิดเผย
rationale – the set of reasons that something such as a plan or belief is based on คำชี้แจงเหตุผล,  พื้นฐานของเหตุผล
provide – to give ให้  
executive – a senior manager in a business or other organisation ผู้บริหาร
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
bar – to say that something must not happen ห้าม
overthrow – to force a leader or government out of power ขับไล่ออกจากอำนาจ
constitutional monarchy – a monarchy in which the ruler’s powers are defined and limited by a constitution ระบบการปกครองที่มีพระมหากษัตริย์เป็นประมุข
threaten – to be likely to harm or destroy something เป็นลางร้าย
national security – the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens การรักษาความมั่นคงแห่ง่ชาติ
morality – principles of right or wrong behaviour ความดีงาม, ความมีศีลธรรมจรรยา, ความมีคุณธรรม
constitute – to be considered to be something ถือว่า,  เห็นว่า, ประกอบด้วย
profanity – a word or language that is offensive because it is rude, or shows a lack of respect for God or people’s religious beliefs ความหยาบคาย, ถ้อยคำที่หยาบคาย
mental – connected with or happening in the mind; involving the process of thinking เกี่ยวกับจิตใจ
violate – to do something that is against the law ละเมิดกฏหมาย

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