The broadcaster Thai PBS has taken a nasty fall, and is suffering deep injuries that may linger for a long time. Last Friday, even as technicians prepared to air the fifth part of a discussion on the monarchy on Tob Jote Thailand, station executives decided that self-censorship was a better part of valour than discretion. They moved the "Thai Monarchy Under the Constitution" topic to the rubbish bin and put on safe, unstimulating, uninteresting pap in its place.
The station claimed the discussion by well-known and thoughtful personalities was "sensitive". That may rank forever as the worst reason given for censorship. If topics are not sensitive, why discuss them? If not now, when? If not by respected and knowledgeable people, then by whom? And finally: If not on Thai PBS, where?
Censoring discussion of the great issues of the day will not make them disappear. Ignoring these issues will not solve them. Leaving them for later means more chance for error and a faulty solution at the last minute.
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