Notes on canceling Muang Thai Rai Sapdah

Notes on canceling Muang Thai Rai Sapdah - September 17, 2005
MCOT has terminated the program "Muang Thai Rai Sapdah" (Ch 9 drops Sondhi for royal references - The Nation, September 16, 2005) after being too critical toward Premier Thaksin--especially the Royal power case on the nomination of the new Supreme Patriarch who is the alliance with Dhammakaya--even though the old Supreme Patriarch is alive and well... while keeping the ultra right wing television program of Governor Samak alive and well.
This kind of heavy hand on the media after the hostile takeover of Matichon and Bangkok Post has generated storms from the media and the Senate toward Grammy Entertainment PCL. Even the failure to take over Matichon, Grammy could reap the profit from the stock price anyway.


[Note these are links from Thaksin's arch-critic Ekkayuth.]
Reference on the termination of a TV program by the Manager Group here and here.
Reference on Grammy Entertainment Affairs here.
Reference on the massive closing down of pondoks here.

Political talk show axed by Channel 9 - Latest victim of govt meddling, says Sondhi - Bangkok Post, September 16, 2005
A political talk show known for its forthright criticism of the government was axed by Channel 9 television yesterday, effective immediately. The programme, Muang Thai Rai Sapda (Thailand Weekly), was produced by Thai Day.Com Co and hosted by Manager newspaper founder Sondhi Limthongkul and news commentator Sarocha Porn-udomsak...

Activist warns of plot to control the media - Bangkok Post, September 16, 2005
Suriyasai Katasila, secretary-general of the Campaign for Popular Democracy, has asked why MCOT Plc has not taken off the air a programme hosted by ultra-conservative commentators Samak Sundaravej and Dusit Siriwan, which he said had criticised people in breach of their rights and freedom. The Samak-Dusit Kid Tam Wan (Samak-Dusit's Daily Thoughts) programme is broadcast on Modernine (Channel 9) TV from 11 to 11.30am, Monday to Friday.
Mr Suriyasai said Muang Thai Rai Sapda is the only programme on free TV that ``speaks the truth'' about political and social woes, and so is popular among viewers.
Abolishing the programme, he said, was part of an organised campaign to control and take over the media under the ``Shinawatra model'' or the ``one minister-one medium'' programme...

Press freedom violated, says watchdog - Bangkok Post, September 17, 2005
...Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the decision was not unexpected, given the programme's biting criticism of the government.
Mr Abhisit said he did not agree Mr Sondhi's comments damaged the monarchy. ``On the contrary, the show helped people value the monarchy and royal prerogatives,'' Mr Abhisit said.
Rosana Tositrakul, of the Confederation of Consumer Organisations, Thailand, said protests would intensify because the government was trying to control the media.
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