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BBC starts "impartial" Thai-language service

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The BBC Thai-language service is back, not on radio, but on the Internet in the form of a Facebook page. Initially, at least, the new service has been welcomed by Thailand's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). 

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BBC starts "impartial" Thai-language service

The BBC Thai-language service is back, not on radio, but on the internet in the form of a Facebook page ( The service began last evening.

Thus far, the page has posted little Thailand-specific news and the international news topics covered can easily be found elsewhere in English and in Thai.

This is social media, however, so there are already comments from hundreds of readers, including a question from Japan from well-known Thai academic Pavin Chachavalpongpun wondering when his interview will be broadcast on the BBC. Mr Pavin, of course, just had his passport revoked for failing to report to the junta as ordered. His query must have caught the attention of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Yesterday, however, the NCPO said it wasn't bothered by the new BBC Thai service. Here is a story from our military affairs reporter.

Army backs new BBC service

Wassana Nanuam

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has welcomed the launch of the BBC World Service's new social media service in Thailand, saying it will afford the broadcaster a better understanding of the local situation.

The BBC on Wednesday said the aim of the new service is to offer people an alternative source of information.

The operation will cover local and international news in Thai and English for an initial period of three months, the British broadcaster said, launching on Facebook at 6.30pm Thursday.

"One of the fundamental principles of the World Service is to bring impartial and accurate news to countries when they lack it," Liliane Landor, head of language services at the BBC World Service, said.

"We think the time is right to trial a new Thai and English digital stream to bring trusted news and information to people inside Thailand."

NCPO spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said he was happy to help the BBC "better understand the situation in Thailand".

"We don't have any problem as long as they don't broadcast information that is negative or has an impact on the stability of the country," he said.

Col Werachon stressed that maintaining peace is vital for forging national stability. News that is not regarded as detrimental to stability is welcome, he said.

Learn from listening

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academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ

accurate: correct, exact and without any mistakes - ถูกต้อง, แม่นยำ

affairs: events affecting a government, military, organisation, etc. - กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ

afford: to provide somebody with something - ให้

aim: purpose; goal - เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย

alternative: another choice - ทางเลือก, ตัวเลือก

attention: interest, especially interest that the public has in a person, event, situation etc - ความสนใจ

bothered: worried, angry or sad about something   - วิตกกังวล หงุดหงิด

broadcast: to send out a programme on television or radio - กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว

broadcaster: a person, company or organisation whose job is presenting or talking on television or radio programmes - ผู้กระจายเสียงทางวิทยุหรือโทรทัศน์

detrimental: harmful - ซึ่งก่อให้เกิดอันตรายหรือความเสียหาย

digital: using a system of receiving and sending information as a series of the numbers one and zero, showing that an electronic signal is there or is not there - ซึ่งรับส่งข้อมูลด้วยการใช้ตัวเลข

forge: to work hard to achieve something - สร้างอย่างมานะพยายาม

fundamental: a basic rule or principle; an essential part - รากฐาน, หลักเบื้องต้น, พื้นฐาน

impact: an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ

impartial: fair; not connected to or influenced by one particular person or group - เป็นกลาง ไม่เข้าข้างฝ่ายใด ยุติธรรม

initial: early; first - เบื้องต้น

junta: a group of military officers that governs a country, usually without having been elected - รัฐบาลทหาร

lack: to not have something needed - ขาด

launch: starting something - การเริ่มต้น

local: in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น

maintain: to keep - รักษา

military: connected with soldiers or the armed forces - ในทางทหาร,เกี่ยวกับทหาร

National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO): The military-installed group ruling Thailand following the 2014 coup d'état - คณะรักษาความสงบแห่งชาติ

negative: bad - ที่เป็นด้านลบ

operation: a business activity - การดำเนินการทางธุรกิจ

principle: a basic rule or belief about what is right - หลักการ

query: a question - คำถาม

revoke: to say something is officially no longer legal - ยกเลิก, เพิกถอน

situation: all the circumstances and things that are happening at a particular time and in a particular place - สถานการณ์

social media: the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. - เครือข่ายสังคมออนไลน์

source: a place where information comes from; someone who gives information - แหล่งข่าว

specific: involving or relating to only one particular thing or type of thing - เฉพาะเจาะจง, โดยเฉพาะ

stability: a situation in which things happen as they should and there are no harmful changes; when something is not likely to move or change - ความมั่นคง, เสถียรภาพ

stream: a continuous flow of something, e.g., liquid, gas, inflormation or even people - การไหลต่อเนื่อง, กระแส

stress: to emphasise something such as an idea, fact or detail; to explain why something is important - เน้น

topic: a subject that you talk, write or learn about - เรื่อง, หัวข้อ

trial: a test, usually over a limited period of time, to discover how effective or suitable something or someone is - ทดลอง, ทดสอบ

trust: a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable - ความเชื่อใจ, ความไว้วางใจ

vital: extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something - จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก

wonder: to think about something because you want to know more facts or details about it - สงสัย

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