Activist threatens to sue Channel 9
Stop Global Warming Association president Srisuwan Janya on Sunday demanded Channel 9 review its decision to suspend the broadcast of a documentary on environmental advocate Sasin Chalermlarp and allow it to be aired quickly or he will file a lawsuit with the Central Administrative Court.
- Published: 29/09/2013 at 05:46 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Speaking to a press conference, Mr Srisuwan said Channel 9’s behaviour in suspending the highly anticipated programme could not be interpreted as anything else but an explicit attempt to lick the boots of the powers-that-be in the government as well as to “cover the eyes and ears” of the people who have the right to receive information from those opposed to the government.
He accused Mcot Plc, the state-owned operator of Channel 9, of lacking ethics in its selection policy for programme content despite the fact that it is a public limited company funded by taxpayers money.
The controversial episode was produced by TV Burapha for its Khon Khon Khon (People Searching People) programme and set to air at 2.05pm on Saturday. It features Mr Sasin, secretary-general of the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, and his 388km walk to Bangkok from Kamphaeng Phet province in protest against the Mae Wong dam, which is to be built in a national park n Nakhon Sawan.
Kamalasiri Isarankura na Ayudhya, Mcot executive vice-president, said the documentary contained interviews only with the dam's opponents and TV Burapha had been asked to include interviews with dam supporters for the sake of balance, but it refused to do as requested.
Veteran activisit Srisuwan Janya (Bangkok Post file photo)
Mr Srisuwan said Channel 9’s move was against the principle of fairness and could be considered an act of discrimination that violated Section 30 of the Constitution which prohibits unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of differences in political views.
He argued that Ms Kamalasiri’s clarification was not convincing. This was because numerous programmes featuring content in favour of the government’s policies had been broadcast on Channel 9, for example a discussion on building the future of Thailand and a public relations campaign to promote the government’s transport development plan under the 2-trillion-baht borrowing scheme at Government House on Thursday.
These programmes presented only one side of the story but Mcot did not order them suspended, he said.
"The Stop Global Warming Association calls on Channel 9 to review its decision and stop such an unfair policy. It also wants the National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission to step in and order the station to air the footage quickly, to confirm that Channel 9 stands by the people and is the media that really serves the public's interest."
“If Channel 9 ignores this request,” Mr Srisuwan added, “the association will unite with the audience and other civil groups to seek legal power from the the Central Administrative Court soon.”
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