Prayut slams reporter for damaging news

Prayut slams reporter for damaging news

Prime Minister Prayut has told media to consider potential damage to the country before reporting.

His instruction came after Thapanee Ietsrichai, a field reporter of Channel 3's Three Dimension News programme, did an investigative report on jails and graveyards of fishermen on Indonesia's Benjina Island, 400-500 of whom were Thais.

According to the report, their ships were caught in Indonesian waters and the crew were sent there. Some were put in prison as they are seen as flight risks and forced to work on trawlers.  

After the news was reported, PM Prayut has been asked how the government would help these people.

"We have been helping them all along. So far we have helped 26," he said on Wednesday.

"But you reporters should not elaborate on this. You need to consider the damage to the country, including security issues.

"Past governments never touch on this issue but we're trying to solve it. We're trying to solve everything. We're registering all boats and having them install GPS so we can verify the locations of their catch.

"This is an ongoing effort. What will happen if we report this in a big way, telling the world about our trafficking and illegal fishing problems? What if they stop buying fish worth 200 billion baht from us? Will you take the responsibility?

"I tell you Thapanee. Come see our officers. What good does it do to talk on the outside? If I cannot solve this problem because of your report, what would you say? Is it illegal?

"You don't take responsibility on anything and only demand rights and freedom," he said.

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