TV chiefs oppose shutdowns

TV chiefs oppose shutdowns

The operators of two television stations forced to suspend broadcasting following the imposition of martial law are crying foul over the Peace and Order Maintaining Command's (POMC) shutdown order.

They said their programme content does not threaten peacekeeping efforts.

Phayungsak Charnduayvit, senior marketing director of Voice TV, and Leena Jungjunja, managing director of Hot TV, yesterday lodged petitions at the Army Club where the POMC is based, seeking a review of the order.

Mr Phayungsak insisted Voice TV offers balanced content that would not instigate unrest or public disorder.

Voice TV and Hot TV are among 14 stations shut down by the POMC under an order seeking to ensure news is accurate, undistorted and not politically inflammatory. Other stations include Bluesky, Asia Update and ASTV.

Mr Phayungsak said Voice TV is a new digital free-to-air station regulated by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

He said he hopes the POMC will withdraw the shutdown order as soon as possible. The station says it has advertisers who have paid for air time. The petition was accepted by Col Anucha Chumkham, the director of the Public Relations Division of the Office of the Army's Secretary.

Ms Leena, meanwhile, vented her anger as she arrived at the Army Club.

She cursed army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is in charge of POMC, for shutting down Hot TV. She demanded to see Gen Prayuth and initially refused to file a complaint at a designated venue. She was eventually persuaded to hand the complaint to a representative.

The absence of Bluesky broadcasts, one of many satellite TV channels suspended by martial law, has left some of its anti-government supporters in a downbeat mood.

Thakerng Sombat, director of Bluesky, the broadcasting arm of the PDRC, said viewers were demanding to know when the channel will be back on air.
Sakchai Guy, editor of Lips magazine, said he missed the morning news programme hosted by sharp-tongued host Anchalee Phaireerak.

Nicha Thuwatham, wife of Gen Romklao Thuwatham, who was killed in the April 10, 2010, unrest, said her family felt cut off without news from Bluesky.

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