Sulak acclaims 'courageous' PBS
Social critic Sulak Sivaraksa lauded Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) on Sunday for being courageous in leading public debate on important issues for the country, especially the lese majeste law.
- Published: 24/03/2013 at 08:19 PM
- Newspaper section: news
Social critic Sulak Sivaraksa delivers a speech at the Siam Society on Sunday to celebrate his 80th birthday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Mr Sulak said the Tob Jote news talk show aired early this month on Thai PBS was a good example of the station's role in encouraging the public to discuss sensitive issues.
The five-part series featured the views of royalists Surakiart Sathirathai and Vasit Dejkunchorn, lese majeste critic Somsak Jeamteerasakul, and Mr Sulak on the role of the monarchy.
The talk show was hosted by Pinyo Trisuriyadhamma. The final episode was withdrawn and then broadcast without notice a few days later.
Mr Sulak said the people who threatened the station with lawsuits and protested against the resumption of the programme were silly. The talk show should not have stirred up public outrage as PBS was merely doing its job by providing airtime to those who thought differently, Mr Sulak said.
The social critic was speaking on the sidelines of a function at the Siam Society yesterday to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Mr Sulak, whose life has been a colourful journey for the people of his generation and those younger, due to his conservatism, outspokenness and royalism, has faced lese majeste lawsuits several times in past decades.
The Thai media, he said, was either pro- or anti-Thaksin, promoting consumerism and poor entertainment without enlightening the viewers about significant issues.
Mr Sulak also hit out at the army chief for criticising certain guest speakers on the Tob Jote programme.
"Thailand has become a police state and the military has done nothing but kill their own people. Now we should support the media such as Thai PBS to undertake their modest role in presenting views and debates," Mr Sulak said.
He lauded Mr Somsak as a courageous Thai who actually complemented the existence of the monarchy with his long list of reform proposals. "Thais should be aware of the significance of this debate, especially the amendment of the lese majeste laws," he said.
About the author
- Writer: Achara Ashayagachat
- Position: Reporter